Pakistan abets Afghan insurgents to limit Indian influence: US reportOctober 29th, 2011 - 10:21 am ICT by IANS
Washington, Oct 29 (IANS) Pointing at insurgent safe havens in Pakistan as the biggest security threat, the US says Pakistan continues to tolerate and abet the insurgency in Afghanistan in pursuit of a friendly Kabul government with limited Indian influence.
“Overall, Pakistan continues to seek a government in Afghanistan friendly to Pakistan with limited Indian influence, and a political settlement that enables pro-Pakistani Pashtun power brokers to participate in provincial and national government,” according to the latest Pentagon evaluation of the war, released Friday.
“Despite these broad goals, Pakistan’s plan for Afghanistan continues to evolve, and some senior Pakistani officials may question whether their preferred outcome in Afghanistan is possible,” according to the “Report on Progress Towards Security and Stability in Afghanistan.”
“Therefore, Pakistan continues to tolerate and abet the insurgency in Afghanistan, particularly the Haqqani Network,” said the congressionally mandated evaluation of the war’s progress that is provided twice a year.
Enabled by safe havens inside Pakistan, the insurgency remains resilient with a notable operational capacity, as reflected in isolated high-profile attacks in Kabul and sustained violence levels in eastern Afghanistan, the report said.
“The insurgency’s safe havens in Pakistan, as well as the limited capacity of the Afghan government, remain the biggest risks to the process of turning security gains into a durable, stable Afghanistan,” it added.
“Assassinations and attacks emanating from the safe havens in Pakistan, particularly those that shelter the Haqqani Network and other Taliban affiliates, continue to threaten the emergence of a durable and stable political solution in Afghanistan,” the report said.
“Pakistan has long judged that the United States would withdraw from Afghanistan before achieving political stability, leaving Pakistan with either an unstable Afghanistan or an Indian ‘proxy’ on its borders,” it said.
“Nor does Islamabad see a sustained US presence in Afghanistan as a preferable alternative over the long term,” the report says. “As a result, Pakistan seeks to play a dominant role in the peace and reconciliation process.”
On the other hand, Indian assistance continues to focus on major infrastructure projects, such as electricity generation and transmission and road construction, report noted.
In addition to reconstruction projects, India has expressed an interest to help strengthen the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Force, it said though “To date, India’s security assistance has been limited.”
The report points directly at Pakistani authorities for aiding the strength of insurgents on that side of the border.
“Pakistan’s selective counterinsurgency operations, passive acceptance — and in some case, provision — of insurgent safe havens, and unwillingness to interdict materiel such as IED components, continue to undermine security in Afghanistan and threaten ISAF’s (International Security Assistance Force) campaign,” the report says.
Labelling safe havens in Pakistan as the insurgency’s greatest enabler, the report notes that major attacks were carried out by the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, deemed a terrorist organization by the United States.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Tags: afghan government, assassinations, eastern afghanistan, emergence, indian influence, insurgency, insurgents, kabul, limited capacity, national government, operational capacity, pakistani officials, pentagon, political settlement, political solution, political stability, power brokers, safe havens, security threat, violence levels