US turned Zardari on India’s Afghan role: Pakistani paper

May 11th, 2009 - 5:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, May 11 (IANS) The US has managed to convince Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari that India is not playing a negative role in Afghanistan and that Islamabad should not be “unduly concerned” about this, a commentary in a leading English daily said Monday.
Contrary to what Zardari said before he left Pakistan, “he is coming back after being convinced by Washington that India is not playing a negative role in Afghanistan and that Pakistan should not be unduly concerned about it”, eminent journalist Ansar Abbasi wrote in The News.

Instead, India was seen by the US to be supportive of initiatives to help Pakistan and Afghanistan against the menace of the Taliban, he said in an article headline ‘Questions about Zardari’s visit’.

The article also noted that US President Barack Obama had already stated that the Pakistan Army too believes that it is not India but the Taliban who are the enemy of Pakistan, adding: “The army has yet to respond to this.”

“This is perhaps no less than a change in view of the ISI’s own reports how India and Kabul with the support of some key international players are conspiring against Pakistan and even sponsoring certain factions of anti-Pakistan Taliban,” Abbasi maintained.

“Perhaps President Zardari was made to hear more and talk less. All the reports pouring out of Washington suggest that the secret agenda as agreed to by President Zardari is more important than what was made public,” the writer contended.

He also pointed out that despite a Foreign Office denial, apprehensions about the nature of the transit trade agreement signed by Zardari and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai in Washington refuse to subside.

“As reported by the leading newspapers the very next day of its signing, it is said that the agreement would give India the right to overland trade with Afghanistan and beyond.

“There are already reports that US intends to deploy Indian troops in Afghanistan. It’s not clear if President Zardari took up this matter with Obama but as the indications are, the latter was more curious about his wish list to be given to the former instead of entertaining objections to his and his country’s greater game plan for the region,” Abbasi wrote.

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