Washington Covertly Contacts Anti-Pakistan Taliban

Following Islamabad’s refusal to attend the Bonn conference to be held in Germany on December 5th to protest against NATO attack, Washington is covertly trying to take anti-Pakistan Taliban on board, it was reliably learnt here on Wednesday.

Diplomatic sources revealed that senior US military officers met Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah, presently based in Afghanistan, after NATO’s unprovoked raid on Pak Army checkpoints that killed 24 officers and wounded many others.

The unprovoked NATO attack comes after General Kayani had clearly stated that Pakistan has no intention of launching an armed action in North Waziristan and there is no question of a compromise on national honour in developing relations with the US.

The US and NATO military command convinced Fazlullah and other anti-Pakistan elements, who were present in the meeting, to participate in peace talks with Pentagon and assured him full support for carrying out terror activities inside Pakistan
, a source familiar with the development told this report on the condition of anonymity. The abrupt deployment of US forces near Pak-Afghan border has escalated tension in the region especially the militancy-plagued North Waziristan.

It is important to mention here that Pak Army has repeatedly asked ISAF to act against militants, like Fazlullah, but US has failed to respond positively.

When US have certain expectations from Pakistan, it should reciprocate in the same spirit, sources said, adding,
the US is playing a double game in Afghanistan, blaming Pakistan for allegedly providing sanctuaries to Taliban while feeding anti-Pakistan Taliban with dollars and ammunition to undertake terrorist activities inside Pakistan.

Though in Pakistan, the security forces have completely left it to the political leadership to decide whether to hold talks with the Taliban or not, the US-led NATO forces are providing safe havens to terrorists involved in terror attacks against Pakistan.

The Bonn meeting, wherein Foreign Ministers from around 90 countries are expected to discuss ways and means to stabilise the war-torn country before a final withdrawal takes place in 2014, is aimed at bringing together Western and regional leaders to map out a strategy.
Defence experts stated that without Pakistan’s participation, Bonn meeting would a complete failure as regional players like Russia, China and Iran have already expressed their serious reservations about the dubious US exit-plan.

For this second Bonn Conference, there is still an ambiguity on participation of major Taliban representatives. Kabul insists that there will be a single Afghan delegation for the conference wherein, the European diplomats say, Taliban representatives can be part.

President Karzai who will chair the conference is all set to take along a hand picked delegation to Bonn that may not have even the true representatives of Afghan society.

But that looks illusionary as Mullah Omar; the Taliban commander has indicated his aversion to attend the conference in an Eid message.

As the manifestation of endgame in Afghanistan appears to be somewhat within perceivable range, the US pressure and demands on Pakistan escalate with impulsive and reckless propaganda against Pak Army and ISI using media.

The aim is to twist Pakistan’s arm, forcing the leadership to bow before US agenda and change direction, ignoring Pakistan’s national interests and strategic goals
. Independent observers sat that for any decisive victory; US must take stock of ground realities and bring all stakeholders on board, not the anti-Pakistan elements alone. Infact, US has seriously destabilised Pakistan in the process and it seems that Pakistan would have to face more grave problems once US exits from Afghanistan.

Stability in Afghanistan will remain a far possibility till all the stakeholders including Pashtuns and Taliban are brought on the same page. At the same time concerns of regional states like Pakistan, Iran and China also need to be addressed through a cool thought-out process rather than using sizzling arrogance of power. The recently held ‘Istanbul Conference’ could not agree to any major proposals on Afghanistan. Iran, Pakistan as China and Russia remained non-committal to the idea of US military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

Security experts say that commitments and more commitments will be the result of the second Bonn Conference as a decade-old history of such conferences on Afghanistan has proved. It is a fact that majority of the US-led coalition countries want their troops out of Afghanistan sooner than later with or without a declared victory ignoring the Afghan woes.

They believe that exit of the US-led forces from Afghanistan will automatically prepare a ground for mutual ending of the hostilities and violence by various factions in Afghanistan.


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