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Despite Delhi's firm stand, Kashmir remains 'unfinished agenda' for Pak Army
11/22/2015 12:09:46 AM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Nov 21: During his visit to the US, Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif had nothing else to discuss with US senior officials except the customary issue of Kashmir.
Any leader from Pakistan, including those in the opposition, visiting a foreign country make it a point that they do not miss raising the Kashmir issue.
And in case the host was responsive the visiting dignitaries rake up the demand for a third country or a third party mediation or intervention for resolving the 68-year old problem that, according to Islamabad, has threatened peace in the entire South Asian region.
And no wonder if senior functionaries of Pakistan Army too emulate their political leaders in raising the Kashmir issue during their visit to the US or to any European country it is part of Pakistan's policy. And true to his salt Gen. Raheel Sharif raised the Kashmir issue during his talks with the senior functionaries in Washington. In fact the purpose of Gen. Sharif in raising the Kashmir issue was to secure US intervention or mediation for settling the dispute.
However, Washington has stuck to its stand and has told Gen. Raheel Sharif that since it was a bilateral dispute it was better for India and Pakistan to settle the Kashmir issue through bilateral talks.
Instead of expecting some change in the US stand on Kashmir Washington has again pressed Pakistan to combat all militant outfits, including the Haqqani, network to ensure that they cannot operate from safe havens in the country.
"We continue to consult with Pakistan on regional security dynamics, and welcome the Government of Pakistan's commitment to combat all terrorists and ensure that militant groups are not able to maintain safe havens in Pakistan," a US Defence Department spokesman has said.
"We continue to urge Pakistan to combat all militants, including the Haqqani Network," the spokesman said, adding that this was the message that was conveyed to Pakistan during the Pentagon visit by its Army Chief General Raheel Sharif.
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter during his meeting with Raheel had asked him to act against groups like the Haqqani Network that threaten America and its forces operating in Afghanistan and he raised concern over terrorists operating from the country's soil
Though Washington has decided to seek cooperation from Islamabad for its war against terror, the United States continues to view with suspicion Pakistan, especially its Army and the ISI, that have been instrumental in providing support, moral and material, to terrorists.
Yes, Washington does not trust Islamabad's anti-terror plan but the US authorities should have mounted pressure on Pakistan to act against terrorists. This could have been done by reducing the quantum of financial and military aid to Pakistan. Well New Delhi need not place all its eggs in the basket of Washington and hence it should find other allies to help India to develop its nuclear arsenal to meet any challenge from Pakistan.
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