World’s focus has turned towards the role of Pakistan in countering terrorism. U.S and Afghanistandeem presence of safe havens of Taliban and Haqqani network in Pakistan as main distributers of terror in Afghanistan that hamper victory of NATO in the counter terrorism war. Afghan war is the longest for U.S in its history that has entered its second decade engaging NATO countries’ soldiers and funds - with no clear ending time.
In response to the U.S pressure, Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani said recently, “The U.S should focus on Afghanistan rather than Pakistan.” To Pakistan, the U.S losing the war in Afghanistan and trying to find a way out – something quite clear from Pakistani media.
Apparently, Pakistan has shown rigidity to continuous pressures from the Obama administration and thinking beyond 2014 when the U.S military campaign is ending in Afghanistan. There is no such thing like military action from Pakistani side against the Haqqani network which is believed to be operating from Afgh-Pak border regions and is defamed for launching attacks on U.S forces in Afghanistan.
The rigidity of Pakistan compelled Hillary Clinton, the US foreign secretary to pay visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan. In a press conference in Kabul on October 20, she said that the Obama administration would continue to pressurize Pakistan to take actions for eliminating safe havens of militants on its land and would urge it to support Karzai government enter a deal with Taliban.
Same is the purpose of her two day visit to Pakistan. It is yet to be seen, whether Clinton will be able to convince Pakistan to take actions against the Haqqani network and facilitate peace talks between Taliban and Karzai administration.
Will U.S pressure on Pakistan work? It is worth mentioning that Rahman Malik, Interior Minister Pakistan has already said that there would be no peace talks with Taliban until they lay down their arms.
All and all, Pakistan’s role is very important for bringing stability to Afghanistan. Until, Pakistan willingly plays its role in supporting peace in Afghanistan, political pressures such as recent ones, will not work.