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Washington Post: Double Trouble in Afghanistan

October 4, 2011

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According to the Washington Post, both Pakistan and the United States are playing a double game of strategy regarding diplomatic and military relations in Afghanistan.

THE OBAMA administration has been loudly accusing Pakistan of playing a double game in Afghanistan, supporting U.S. military operations and accepting U.S. aid while harboring and sometimes steering Taliban leaders. Pakistan's denials of these links are unconvincing. But as President Ali Asaf Zardari pointed out in a Post op-ed on Sunday, the United States has also been pursuing contradictory policies — if not exactly a double game — of its own.

The administration has demanded that Pakistan crack down on the Haqqani network, an extremist group that professes fealty to the Taliban and that has carried out a number of spectacular attacks — including an assault on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul last month. But according to Pakistani officials and the group's leader, American officials have also sought contacts with the Haqqanis in the hope of drawing them into Afghan peace negotiations. “While we are accused of harboring extremism,” Mr. Zardari wrote, “the United States is engaged in outreach and negotiations with the very same groups.”

 

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