Kabul bombing part of Pakistan’s power struggle with India: NYT

July 10th, 2008 - 9:22 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Taliban

New York, July 10 (IANS) The deadly suicide bombing at the gates of the Indian embassy in Kabul Monday has reaffirmed the growing fears of American and Afghan officials that Taliban insurgents working in collusion with Pakistani intelligence operatives might have used the attack to pursue Pakistan’s long power struggle with India, the New York Times has reported. Already the number of attacks in Afghanistan is growing even as militants ramp up their campaign against US-led troops. They are bolstered by militant gains in Pakistan in recent months, which is drawing more fighters from outside, the Times said Thursday quoting American military and intelligence officials.

The flow of foreign fighters to Pakistan’s tribal areas indicates a change that is making Pakistan, not Iraq, the preferred destination for some Sunni extremists from the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia who are seeking to take up arms against the West, the officials said.

The influx, which could be in the dozens but could also be higher, shows a further strengthening of the position of the forces of Al Qaeda in the tribal areas, increasingly seen as an important base of support for the resurgent Taliban.

American intelligence officials say that some jihadist Web sites have been encouraging foreign militants to go to Pakistan and Afghanistan, which is considered a winning fight, compared with the insurgency in Iraq, which has suffered sharp setbacks recently, the Times wrote.

The porous border between Aghanistan and Pakistan has allowed insurgent militant groups a greater freedom of movement across the border, as well as a greater freedom to resupply, to allow leadership to sustain stronger sanctuaries, and to provide fighters across that border, the paper said.”

The number of foreign fighters entering the tribal areas has become a steady stream after the new Pakistani government curtailed security operations there and initiated negotiations with tribal leaders to rein in militants, a US defence department official confirmed to the Times.

With the number of attacks in eastern Afghanistan up by 40 percent from a year ago, senior Bush administration officials have been voicing alarm about the growing strength of the militants using havens in Pakistan.

The Bush administration is struggling to work with the Afghan and Pakistani governments to find an effective solution using political, diplomatic and military tools to stem the increasingly entrenched insurgency, but it has faced difficulties dealing with Pakistan’s coalition government, the Times said quoting officials.

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