The US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta, despite continuous demands made by the Pakistani side, asserts that the US will continue to launch drone strikes in North Waziristan. The recent statements issued by him in Kabul and Delhi are indicative of the emerging regional trends. The US is clearly bypassing Pakistan, something that happened when India became the proud recipient of the nuclear deal with the US that the Pakistanis had been waiting for. Whatever excuse the US gives for not considering Pakistan for a similar deal does little to hide the superpower’s motives in the region. It is evident that Pakistan is being marginalised both globally and regionally with various tags of ignominy adorned around its neck. According to a study carried out by the Jinnah Institute in Pakistan, the Pakistani policy elite perceives the US’s Afghanistan strategy to date to be largely inconsistent with Pakistan’s interests.
Despite the fact that Pakistan has provided significant counterterrorism and strategic support to the US, which has proved costly in terms of Pakistan’s militant backlash, there is a strong feeling in Pakistan that they will once again be left bearing the burden of this war as a Taliban takeover is being predicted. Further, the growing Indian footprint in Afghanistan backed by the US would certainly manipulate the endgame that further alters the regional politics, thus adding to the instability of South Asia.
PROFESSOR KABIL KHAN,