Posted by Abdul Alim
Express Tribune: Editorial: ‘Diplomatic sources’ in Pakistan say, “The US and Pakistan have reached an understanding on joint operations against the Haqqani network but no final decision has been taken yet”. Outside, ‘leaks’ have appeared in the press indicating that “understanding for joint operations against the Haqqani network was reached at a meeting between senior US and Pakistani military commanders in Islamabad”. More clearly, The Wall Street Journal reported “that plans for joint operations” against the Haqqanis and Maulavi Fazlullah “were discussed in meetings between ISI chief Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam and top CIA, State Department and Pentagon officials in Washington”. Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik used to throw broad hints at Americans for helping the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) assist in carrying out attacks inside Pakistan from the Afghan provinces, Kunar and Nuristan. Now, he says the Afghan government and its secret agency are doing the dastardly deed, not the Americans.
Apparently, our ISI chief General Islam got nowhere with the drones and an understanding on the subject was deferred. He is believed to have offered a proposal which urges the US to identify targets and let Pakistani F16s carry out the attacks. If there is no agreement on the drones, it could derail the whole process, not so much because the Pakistan Army hates the drones but because the Pakistani people and the media have been subjected to a hype about them by the concerned quarters, which may not be speaking with one voice.