Christine Fair’s February 9 article “Ten Fictions that Pakistani Defense Officials Love to Peddle,” seems to be a response to Stephen M Walt’s February 3, Foreign Policy magazine article “The Top 10 Mistakes made in Afghanistan”, which is part of the growing anti-war criticism against Obama administration. According to Walt, America is trying to go it alone, blowing it at Tora Bora, helping introduce the Afghan constitution, the detour into Iraq, the 2009 surge, setting a time limit, downgrading diplomacy, losing public support, failure to manage unruly allies, and strategic contradictions are the top ten reasons of the US Afghan war failure, which Ms Fair probably tries to justify in her recent article. Her ‘Ten Fictions’ are meant to serve the US-Indian interests while ridiculing Pakistan’s sincere efforts as well as unparalleled contributions in the US-led war against terrorism. Ms Fair’s long stay in Pakistan, especially her ‘teaching’ engagements in Lahore was a great ‘learning activity’, where her frequent interactions with top Afghan ‘war’ observers, including the “Descent into Chaos” author Ahmed Rashid, led to compiling of her new book “Fighting to the End: the Pakistan Army’s Way of War”.

She rightly calls the just resumed ‘strategic dialogue’ as ‘has never been strategic’, thanks to the ‘carrot and stick policy’ and ‘do more mantra’ of her governments that has been dictating terms in the name of ‘strategic’ partnership’, ‘natural allies’, ‘friendship’ and ‘strategic dialogue’ – refer to then Assistant Secretary Armitage’s ‘or else we will send you to the stone age’ threat, and Secretary Collin Powell’s 11-point demands. More than 50,000 Pakistani citizens and security personnel sacrifices, over $1trillion economic loss, against what she calls $27billion aid, has not sufficiently served to quench the Americans’ thirst for ‘containing China’ and economic commandeering of the ‘High Asian’ region.

“The US policymakers never fully appreciated that the war could not be won without Pakistan’s cooperation”, argues Walt. Christine Fair and “everyone knows and has known that Pakistan is the key to the equation… The problem was not lack of understanding about Pakistan’s importance: the problem was, by and large, a naïve belief in Pakistan’s desire to cooperate and a miscalculation about how Pakistan perceives its national interests.”

This was all in bad taste to say the least, she came here and everyone treated her with respect which she has thrown back in our faces. I for one am very disheartened by such incidents.

ESCHMALL SARDAR,

Peshawar, March 9."