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Pakistan Coming Out Of The Closet?
Posted by Newshoggers.com on April 28th, 2011

From our partners at Newshoggers.com

By Steve Hynd

I'm intruiged by yesterday's report by Matthew Rosenberg that:

Pakistan is lobbying Afghanistan's president against building a long-term strategic partnership with the U.S., urging him instead to look to Pakistan—and its Chinese ally—for help in striking a peace deal with the Taliban and rebuilding the economy, Afghan officials say.

The pitch was made at an April 16 meeting in Kabul by Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who bluntly told Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the Americans had failed them both, according to Afghans familiar with the meeting. Mr. Karzai should forget about allowing a long-term U.S. military presence in his country, Mr. Gilani said, according to the Afghans.

The post-summit statement by Pakistani PM Gilani yesterday certainly seems to confirm that theme, albeit in diplospeak ( bold emphasis is mine):

President Karzai and I agreed that there is no military solution to the problem.

The drone attacks are counter-productive. Loss of precious human lives cannot be just dismissed as “collateral damage”. Similarly, suicide attacks, resulting in loss of innocent lives as well as attacks on places of worship, are not only inhuman and barbaric but are evidently designed to denigrate Islam and to sow discord among Muslims, communities and societies. One wrong cannot be rectified by another wrong.

The people of Afghanistan and Pakistan have introspected deeply and can discern friends from foes. President Karzai and I have agreed that we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that our respective national interests and the collective interests of our two great Nations are fully safeguarded.

Hmmm…

That China has been Pakistan's "all-weather" ally, in contrast to the U.S., is something the other rising regional power, India has understood for some time and fuels tensions in the wider region as well as the Great Game being played in Afghanistan. Karzai may, however, be in the cleft stick of being either propped up by America forever while Pakistan tries to undermine him or of throwing in his lot with his neighbour and their nascent-superpower sponsor.

Update: Full Rosenberg piece here for those stopped by the WSJ paywall.

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