Reset Pakistan policy to check terror syndicate: Former CIA analyst

December 28th, 2011 - 12:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Dec 28 (IANS) Describing the 2008 Mumbai attacks as President Barack Obama’s first major international crisis, a former CIA analyst has called for a reset of American policy toward Pakistan to contain the syndicate of terror it sponsors.

“The president has delivered on his promises to ‘disrupt, dismantle and defeat’ Al Qaeda al Umm,” Bruce Riedel, now Foreign Policy fellow at Brookings, a Washington think tank, wrote saying “He showed great courage and leadership in sending the SEALs to Abbottabad” to eliminate Osama bin Laden.

“In 2012 he will need to reset American policy toward Pakistan to contain the worst excesses and ambitions of the Pakistani army, the (Inter-Services Intelligence) ISI and the syndicate of terror they sponsor while at the same time engaging and supporting those Pakistanis who want a democratic, progressive Pakistan like (former Prime Minister) Benazir (Bhutto).”

“That is a tough balance to get right. It may be the toughest challenge of his presidency,” Riedel wrote in a commentary in “The Daily Beast” noting that Bhutto had warned before her death that the alliance of jihadist terror
and the army was the greatest threat to world peace today.

“Al Qaeda is on the defensive in Pakistan, but its many allies and affiliates are on the march,” he said recalling three years ago “in Mumbai, the syndicate demonstrated its terror capabilities. It held the financial capital of India in its deadly grip for days, killing and wounding hundreds including Indians, Americans and Jews.”

“The court testimony of an (Pakistani) American, David Headley, who was the master spy for the attack and prepared the way with five visits to the city before hand, shows it was a joint Lashkar-ISI plot. That attack was the first major international crisis after Obama’s electoral victory.”

The founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group that attacked Mumbai in 2008, Hafiz Saeed, who now heads Lashkar’s official successor Jamat ud Dawa, at a rally in Lahore this month called for jihad against India in Kashmir and NATO in Afghanistan, Riedel noted.

The LeT leader had rejected President Ali Asif Zardari’s proposal for most-favoured trade agreement with India and said “instead, India must be punished for stealing Kashmir in 1947 and for helping Bangladesh secede from Pakistan in 1971. Jihad is the only answer to America, Israel and India.”

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