Pak playing ‘double game’ in Afghanistan to retain influence post US pull out: Expert

Friday, October 15, 2010

WASHINGTON - Pakistan is playing its ‘double game’ in Afghanistan to protect its strategic interests in the region once the United States pulls out of the country, an analyst has said.

Retired General Talat Masood, now a security analyst, said that it is the reason behind Pakistan’s support to Taliban’s three main Afghan factions - the Quetta Shura, the Haqqani network, and the forces of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

“The legacy of the Soviet era is still being lived by Pakistan. America has abandoned Pakistan [before] - they may leave behind a Pakistan that is unstable,” the Christian Science Monitor quoted Masood, as saying.

He also said that the Pakistan provides sanctuary to pro-Pakistan militant groups to give itself leverage in any post-pullout scenario similar to America’s abandonment of the region after the Soviet withdrawal.

“So that’s why it’s very important for America not to push Pakistan to a position where [Pakistan has] to antagonize every segment of the Pashtuns, including the Haqqani group, which may turn inward, toward Pakistan,” he added.

Masood further said that Pakistan would ultimately work with the US to work on the Afghanistan government-Taliban negotiations to end the nine-year war.

“Ultimately, Pakistan will have to establish its own writ, but it’s a question of when it’s more appropriate,” he said. (ANI)

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