Pak military relentless in using terrorist proxies: daily
With the US settling for an "uneasy concord" with Pakistan following protracted tensions over NATO supply routes, a leading daily here said today that Washington has to walk a tightrope between "buying off" and "containing" its ally, which continues to use terrorist proxies in India and Afghanistan.
The Washington Post said in a lead editorial that the "insurmountable obstacle" in relations with Pakistan was the country's political dysfunction, and a military establishment dependent on "terrorist allies".
"Until Pakistan develops a democratic civilian government capable of purging that belligerence, the United States will have to settle for a pragmatic combination of buying off Pakistan when it is possible — and containing it when it is not," it said.
The paper noted that the Pakistani Army continues to use terrorist proxies to challenge New Delhi, making things difficult for the US.
"Even such an uneasy concord is unlikely with the military, which appears locked into backing a militant Taliban faction as its proxy in Afghanistan and is equally relentless in its attempt to challenge India through the use of terrorist proxies," The Post said.
Following Clinton's recent 'apology' over the NATO raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last November, Pakistan reopened the crucial supply routes to Afghanistan after a gap of more than six months.
"The reopening of the supply route will facilitate the massive withdrawal of US troops and equipment from Afghanistan scheduled to take place between now and the end of 2014, and it will allow Pakistan to collect more than USD 1 billion in deferred compensation from Washington. It heads off an irrevocable breach between the two nations," the daily said.
"Nevertheless, the past seven months, during which Pakistan blocked the supply traffic, have underlined the reality that the deeper alliance that the Obama administration once hoped to forge with this nuclear-armed Muslim nation is out of reach for the foreseeable future," The Post said.
It said the fault does not lie in inadequate diplomacy or drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal area, or the raid that killed Osama bin Laden but in the political dysfunction of Pakistan, "a country divided between a feuding, corrupt and insular civilian political elite and a military establishment dependent on terrorist allies and obsessed with unacceptable and unattainable geopolitical ambitions".
"Meanwhile the Army and its intelligence service hang back, allowing the civilians to mismanage the country while continuing to support their own Islamic militants, who regularly target US troops and installations in Afghanistan and plot terrorism in India.