US must deny Pakistan army all aid: Brajesh Mishra

January 29th, 2009 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanNew Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) The US should deny the Pakistani army all aid till it cooperates fully with the international community in controlling the Taliban in Afghanistan as well as in Pakistan, India’s former national security adviser Brajesh Mishra said here Thursday. “The Pakistan Army can’t survive without aid and the economic support of the US,” Mishra said here at a discussion on ‘Future directions of US’ relations with India and the region’. The seminar was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and The Asia Foundation, a US think tank.

“Aid must be denied to the Pakistan Army unless it cooperates fully with the US and the international community in controlling the Taliban,” Mishra said while arguing that the denial of economic support to Pakistan military holds the key to the success of the US’ policy in Afghanistan.

The Barack Obama administration has made the restoration of stability in Afghanistan the chief plank of its fight against terror and the centrepiece of its foreign policy in the region.

“If the US mission in Afghanistan is to succeed, it must deny a role to the Taliban in Afghanistan as it did in the nineties,” Mishra, a close aide of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said.

“The idea is to put as much pressure as possible on the Pakistan military to control the Taliban both inside Pakistan as well as in Afghanistan,” he added. He also criticised Pakistan’s policy on deceiving the US “by taking all the money while doing as little as possible to control Taliban”.

“Pakistan wants the Taliban to succeed in Afghanistan but it does not want the Taliban to succeed in Pakistan,” Mishra said while stressing that the Pakistani military doctrine to use the Taliban to gain strategic depth in that region has not changed at all.

Alluding to the appointment of Richard Holbrooke as the US’ special representative on Pakistan and Afghanistan, Mishra said any attempt to link Kashmir to terrorism in the region is an erroneous one. “No matter which government in India is in power it will not relinquish control over Jammu and Kashmir. It’s written in stone and it can’t be changed,” he said.

Striking an upbeat tone on the future of India-US relations, Mishra, however, cautioned that the closer India gets to the US, there will be some problems in relations due to divergences in perception over their role in world affairs.

“The US has a global agenda. India is not a global player yet; it has a regional agenda. There are possibilities of divergences of interests and perception,” he said while citing the refusal of India to send troops to Iraq as an example.

Karl Inderfurth, US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia during the second Clinton presidency (1997-2001), called for greater cooperation between India and the US in bringing stability in Afghanistan and South Asia.

“There is no military solution to the problems in Afghanistan. We have to restore peace and stability in that country. India could be a valuable partner in this regard,” he said.

“There is a clear and present danger between what is happening in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan. It can’t be diplomatic business as usual,” he said.

That’s why the US has decided to appoint a special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said.

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