Americans are not ready to take the entire blame for Nov 26 incident wherein 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in Nato attack on Pakistani posts. As per the investigation report issued by Americans, first fire came from the Pakistani side (but not necessarily from Pakistani posts) that triggered a chain of events marred with a clear lack of coordination (better say lack of trust). Pakistan didn’t participate in the investigation carried out by Pentagon. State department expressed regret over the loss of Pakistani soldiers’ lives but didn’t tender an apology as would be exploited by Republicans as a sign of weakness. Means White House has to toe the Pentagon line.

Here in Pakistan, Army was also able to drum up enough backers to draw up a line against Americans position. A recently held public meeting in Lahore, which was attended by Clerics including defunct extremist organizations leaders, backed the armys’ stance on suspension of Nato supplies and evacuation of Shamsi base. They also warned army against resumption of Nato supply lines otherwise they would sort to attack on Afghanistan-bound Nato trucks. In addition to Pakistan’s reaction to Nov 26 attack; secret talks with Taliban have also helped reducing suicide attacks on security forces and general public. Among political parties there are many including Imran Khan who support talks with Taliban. They point out when Americans can talk to Taliban why not Pakistan can do the same. They fail to understand the difference between these two talks: Americans need a safe exit out of Afghanistan and a possible stake in a future setup in Kabul. It’s a different ball game when it comes to Pakistan --- after 2014 Pakistan would have to confront a very highly motivated force intoxicated with not one with two achievements: defeat of Soviets in 80s followed by defeat of Americans in a post 9/11 Afghanistan.

Pakistan shall think twice before making peace with Taliban --- a temporary respite of today will bring a dreadful tomorrow for the whole region. Do we need to copy Americans?

 Masood Khan

Saudi Arab