India frets n fumes over Washington’’s new Af-Pak policy

March 18th, 2009 - 8:58 pm ICT by ANI  


By Naveen Kapoor

New Delhi, March 18 (ANI): As the United States is giving final touch to its strategic review paper on the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, which Washington terms as Af-Pak policy, New Delhi is keeping a close watch.

According to Ministry of External Affairs sources, the U.S. which has huge military presence in the region, is looking for reconciliation with the Taliban forces in Afghanistan under its new Af-Pak policy.

This has left New Delhi sulking, as it strongly believes that United States is waging war in the Pakistans Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) against the same terrorist groupings and should not divide militants as good Talibans and bad Talibans.

Citing examples of deteriorating Helmand, Swat, FATA and WANA, the policymakers in New Delhi believe that the ceasefire arrangements and reconciliation with militants not worked in the past. However, India
believes that the foremost priority of the U.S should be to provide security to the Afghans, integrate them and then isolate Taliban politically and militarily.

India maintains the view that every Pashtun is not a Taliban.

New Delhi believes that the international community should follow Indian model of rehabilitation in Afghanistan.

India, which has pledged more than 700 million dollars aid and is building huge infrastructure projects in the war-racked country , takes pride in the huge success of its programme in which it financed small community projects like building a classroom ,dispensary as demanded by local communities.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, also a former High Commissioner to Pakisan, who recently concluded his Washington visit, had reportedly conveyed to the new establishment at the Capitol Hill and top brass of the U.S government including the NSA, secretary of state, the special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrook, that Pakistan’’s continued use of extremists as an instrument of foreign policy cannot work. (ANI)

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