Pakistan torn over how to handle Taliban: experts

After years allowing Taliban militants to operate in the rugged tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, Pakistan is now torn over how to respond to US calls for decisive action against extremists.

by Rana Jawad, AFP

Pakistani troops return to base after completing a mission against ... 
Pakistani troops return to base after completing a mission against militants in Jamrud, the gateway to Khyber Pass which links Pakistan to Afghanistan, on January 2. After years allowing Taliban militants to operate in the rugged tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, Pakistan is now torn over how to respond to US calls for decisive action against extremists.(AFP/File/Tariq Mahmood)

Islamabad is under intense pressure from Washington, other western nations and Kabul to eliminate Taliban and Al-Qaeda havens in the tribal belt, from where fighters are said to stage attacks on foreign forces in Afghanistan.

But experts say Pakistan’s desire to please the United States, a vital political and military ally, has run up against its own strategic interests in the region and its loyalty to Pashtuns, the predominant ethnicity among the Taliban.

“Pakistan’s Taliban policy has suffered from indecisiveness, inconsistency and ambiguity,” political analyst Hasan Askari told AFP.

“Pakistan’s choices will become tougher in the future because its efforts to control the Taliban do not enjoy support throughout society. A good number of ordinary people see India as more of a threat than the Taliban.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090114/wl_sthasia_afp/
afghanistanunresttalibanpakistan_20090114052929

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: