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  • Pakistan Overplays Its Hand in Making Demands of U.S.

    Pakistan is reportedly calling for a reduction in U.S. drone missile strikes against terrorists sheltering in its tribal border areas, greater transparency from the CIA regarding its counterterrorism activities inside Pakistan, and a reduction in U.S. military trainers in the country.

    Following a meeting in Washington between the director of Pakistan’s intelligence service, Shuja Pasha, and CIA Director Panetta on Monday, a Pakistani official told The Washington Post that the CIA must share more information about what it “wants and is doing” inside Pakistan, adding, “They have to stop mistrusting [Pakistani intelligence] so much.”

    The problem is that Pakistan’s handling of recent terrorism cases and its dealings with the Afghan Taliban have done little to inspire the trust Pakistani officials seek. Pakistan maintains links with the Afghan Taliban as well as deadly militant groups, such as the Haqqani network, that are responsible for some of the fiercest attacks against coalition soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan.

    Moreover, Pakistan has failed to take substantive action against the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) terrorist group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed nearly 166, including six Americans. Pakistan has dragged its feet on trying and prosecuting seven LeT members who are widely believed to be behind the Mumbai carnage that it took into custody over two years ago. In fact, one of the alleged ringleaders of the attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, had been instructing LeT operatives while in Pakistani custody, raising questions over whether the Pakistanis were “protecting” rather than “prosecuting” him. In congressional testimony, U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Robert Willard expressed concern about the expanding international reach of the LeT.

    Pakistani intelligence officials are seeking to take advantage of the Ray Davis episode to gain leverage in their dealings with the U.S. But the Obama Administration must remain committed to U.S. counterterrorism goals in the region and continue to pursue policies in Pakistan that prioritize protecting the U.S. homeland from additional terrorist strikes. Rather than seeking to change U.S. counterterrorism objectives in the region, Pakistan should propose strategies for jointly tackling the threat.

    The trial of David Headley, the Pakistani-American arrested in Chicago in 2009 for involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, is set to resume in the middle of next month. The disclosures that come to light during that trial are sure to raise more questions about Pakistan’s relationship with the LeT. To avoid further international embarrassment over the issue, Pakistan must take action against the perpetrators of the attacks. Punishing the perpetrators would be the best way to quell accusations of official Pakistani involvement in the attacks.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Pakistan Overplays Its Hand in Making Demands of U.S.

    1. omar says:

      Pakistan’s rentier elite thinks they can get more money out of the Americans by playing hardball and if things get out of hand, they can dump them and Gulf mercenary duty and China will take up the slack. The US thinks China and the Gulf dont add up to 3 billion a year, so they are also playing hardball. Somebody’s math has gotta give.

      My bet is that GHQ will have to stick with BFF CIA and will have to swallow some public humiliation along the way …if they are dumber than I think and do get carried away by their own propaganda, they may lose CIA funding and then find that the Chinese contribution doesnt make up for those lost dollars (those cantonese did not get rich by getting fleeced)…

      On the other hand, I have days where I think the Chinese will be taken to the cleaners by ISI before they even know their wallet is missing. The Chinese may be great at business in general, but we have more experience at fleecing our patrons than they have at being patrons…

      Meanwhile, the actual country will stumble along, relying on the native good sense and resilience of the people. There IS a real economy out there and its bigger than the rent-an-army operation out of Rawalpindi, but its out of sight of headquarters (for better and for worse).

    2. Jim Fryrear says:

      It comes a time in history when we must atand up to these terrorists of there will be no end to their demands. If they insist pull out, and let them deal with the terroists.

    3. Jim Fryrear says:

      I feel we should be more agressive in the region than we presently are. I dont think it is wise to tip our hand to anyone.

    4. Carlos de Souza says:

      Absolutely on the ball, Lisa, well said indeed.

    5. Redfray, Pea Ridge, says:

      This would be a good time to get out of Pakistan. America could use this as an excuse to leave.

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