Ahmed Rashid’s Af-Pak
Vijay Prashad, Courtesy: Himal South Asian, June 1, 2012
A blinkered look at the future of US involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan continues to place hope in those who have failed so far.
Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari rushed to Chicago at the last instance in mid-May 2012 for the NATO Summit. The message had come from the White House that the US was willing to make some concessions if the Pakistanis would re-open the supply lines from Karachi to Afghanistan. However, when Zardari arrived in Chicago, US President Barack Obama snubbed him. The Americans found Zardari uncooperative. The supply lines would not re-open.
Relations between Pakistan and the United States have been fraught for decades, with occasional warmth when Washington sees some use for Islamabad, but more often marked with coolness. The fracas over the killing of Osama Bin Laden by the US and the arrest of Dr Shakil Afridi – accused of collaborating with the CIA – by the Pakistanis in retaliation, are only the latest in a string of such incidents. All this disturbs the Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, who would like to see the Pakistani elite properly ally itself with the United States in their common war against extremism. Both seem to have a common enemy, the Taliban – whether its Pakistani or Afghan franchise – and yet, because of the limitations of the Pakistani elite (through the agency of the military and the ISI) this alliance has not fully germinated. Read More