News / Asia

    Pakistan Warns US it Risks Losing an Ally Over Afghan Accusations

    Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar (File Photo)
    Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar (File Photo)

    Pakistani officials have responded angrily to U.S. accusations that the country's intelligence agency supported attacks by the Pakistan-based Haqqani militant network on U.S. targets inside Afghanistan.

    War against terrorism

    Speaking in New York Friday, Pakistan’s foreign minister warned that Washington risks losing Pakistan’s partnership in the war against terrorism if U.S. leaders continue to make such accusations. Hina Rabbani Khar spoke to Pakistan’s Geo TV.

    “You will lose an ally, you cannot afford to alienate Pakistan, you cannot afford to alienate the Pakistani people," said Rabbani. "If you are choosing to do so it will be at your own cost.”

    Washington has long accused Pakistan of not doing enough to crack down on militant groups in its territory.

    Admiral Mike Mullen

    Admiral Mike Mullen (File Photo)
    Admiral Mike Mullen (File Photo)

    But on Thursday, the top U.S. military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, told a U.S. Senate hearing that the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network, acting with support from Pakistan's military spy agency, planned and conducted last week's attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and the September 10 bombing of a coalition base.

    It was the first time that top U.S. officials publicly linked Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency to an assault against American targets.

    "The Haqqani network, for one, acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan’s internal services intelligence agency," said Mullen.

    U.S. and Afghan officials have long accused Pakistan of continuing to support insurgent groups, like the Haqqanis, to retain influence in Afghanistan. But the comments from Admiral Mullen were the strongest accusations yet.

    "By exporting violence, they’ve eroded their internal security and their position in the region," he said. "They’ve undermined their regional credibility and threatened their economic well being. Only a decision to break with this policy can pave the road to a positive future for Pakistan."

    Pakistan's support for militants has also come under increasing criticism inside Pakistan as militant groups have increasingly attacked targets inside the country, and even confronted Pakistan’s military directly.

    Haqqani network

    Retired Pakistani General and Defense Analyst Talat Masood says such a strategy is ultimately counterproductive no matter what happens in Afghanistan.

    “If they continue to support these groups, for whatever tactical reasons it may be, in the grand strategy for Pakistan this is suicidal, because if you are supporting militant groups you know for whatever reason, whether it is in the context of the eastern or western border. I think ultimately, experience has shown, that it boomerangs," said Masood. "So I think that if by lending support you are thinking that these groups will stay on in Afghanistan when the Americans leave it will be some sort of asset to Pakistan, but do you really want these kind of assets? What kind of assets are these? Which are going to have an ideological blowback in Pakistan?”

    Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani (File Photo)
    Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani (File Photo)

    Pakistani officials have said they have been reluctant to pursue the Haqqani militant network because the area where it operates in the rugged North Waziristan region, is too remote. They say Pakistan’s military is stretched thin in other tribal areas. There is also widespread concern over the revenge attacks that a military operation against the Haqqanis might provoke.

    Meanwhile, Pakistan's prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, on Friday added his own denunciation of the U.S. for publicly accusing Pakistan of supporting the Haqqani network.

    "They can't live with us or without us," he said of the United States in comments to media in Pakistan's Karachi. The Pakistani prime minister added: "If they can't live without us, then they should make efforts to clear up any misunderstandings."

     

    You May Like

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.