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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs