WASHINGTON: Holding that Pakistan is the source of many of the US problems in Afghanistan, an American lawmaker has said that America has now an ally in India and an enemy in Islamabad.
“Things have changed in the last 20 years. Pakistan is no longer our ally and India is no longer an ally of the Soviet Union. What we have now an ally in India and an enemy in Pakistan,” Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said.
“It is not because we are declaring them that they are our enemy, but because Pakistan declared itself as an enemy of the United States,” Rohrabacher alleged. “No body, but an enemy would take the murderer, a terrorist who slaughter 3,000 people and give him safe haven and then arrest the man who helped us bring justice to that murderer.”
He was referring to detained Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi, who had helped the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) hunt down former Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011.
“It is about time that we realise that Pakistan is the source of the many of the problems that we have there (Afghanistan) rather than being optimistic that Pakistan is going to change,” Rohrabacher said.
In response to a question from Rohrabacher, Washington -based think-tank Daniel Markey told lawmakers at a Congressional hearing that Pakistan can be even “worse enemy” of America than it currently is, particularly in Afghanistan. “Let’s be careful, what we wish for because they can be even worse enemy than they currently are,” Markey, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations said.
“I think you are right in a sense. Pakistan has been incredibly frustrating and at times would be better characterised as an adversary or an enemy particularly with respect to our differences on Afghanistan,” Markey said in response to question from Rohrabacher.
Seth G Jones from Rand told lawmakers in his remarks that individuals from the ISI and Pakistan military continue to provide some support to Afghan insurgents. “Indeed, Pakistan is running one of the most successful covert action programmes today against a major power – and against the United States no less,” he said.
“The US failure to curb Pakistan’s sanctuary and support is particularly egregious since the United States was involved in an almost identical programmes 30 years ago – with the ISI – against the Soviets in Afghanistan,” Seth said.