News / Asia

Major Differences Persist for Pakistan, US

Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani (R), speaks with commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, August 2, 2012.
Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani (R), speaks with commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, August 2, 2012.
Sharon Behn
ISLAMABAD — The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, met Thursday with Pakistan's top military commander General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The two countries continue to disagree about how to deal with militants based along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
 
The meeting was aimed at building cooperation between the two countries about how to best fight militants who operate in the porous border region between northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan.
 
NATO spokeswoman Major Lori Hodge said from Kabul that improved collaboration is essential.
 
“The future security and stability in the region rests in large part on the strength of the partnership these discussions are forging,” said Hodge.
 
International combat forces are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. But many fear that militant action by groups such as the Taliban or Haqqani network could quickly destabilize the region.
 
NATO Supply Routes Through Pakistan:
 
  • One route crosses the Khyber Pass and goes to Kabul
  • The other route goes through Baluchistan province to Kandahar
  • The routes carried about one third of NATO cargo for ISAF forces
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the closure cost an extra $100 million a month in overland shipping through Central Asia
  • Pakistan closed the routes after U.S.-led NATO airstrikes mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border last November
While relations between the United States and Pakistan have improved since Islamabad recently re-opened NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, the two countries remain at odds about how to fight extremist groups.
 
The United States feels Pakistan is not doing enough to combat the militant networks. Pakistan, for its part, says most of the fighters are based in Afghanistan and that international forces have failed to neutralize them.
 
Retired Pakistani Lieutenant General Talat Masood said the military has consistently pushed against the militants in the tribal northwest region. He said the feeling in Pakistan, however, is that a major operation against them now could galvanize all the various militant groups to join forces.
 
"... [it] will create hell for Pakistan, including not only giving resistance in these areas in the tribal belt, but also creating a wave of terrorist attacks in the country," said Masood. "So there is this genuine fear in Pakistan, that is why they don’t want to touch the hornets’ nest.”

The talks between Allen and Kayani are aimed at trying to resolve these major differences.
 
Allen’s meeting in Islamabad Thursday coincided with talks in Washington between the head of Pakistan’s intelligence services, Lieutenant General Zahirul Islam, and CIA chief David Petraeus.
 
Masood said the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban and the Haqqani network have taken full advantage of the rocky relationship between the allies.
 
“It is a complete failure of all the three countries, the U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan. Because of their lack of cooperation, their lack of confidence has given rise to the strength of the militants and they have exploited it very intelligently,” said Masood.

He said the latest talks signal an improvement, but until the countries agree on how to deal with the militant groups, it is difficult to see how they will move forward.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid