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Pakistanis Don't Like Obama's Afghan Plan


Afghan police in Kabul
Afghan police in Kabul

Professor Adil Najam says Pakistanis wonder if the Obama surge in Afghanistan will make their militant problem worse.

Reaction in Pakistan to President Obama's new Afghanistan strategy has been, at best, ambivalent and often hostile. The Daily Times newspaper for instance said the policy “evoked alarm and disappointment.”

Adil Najam, professor of International Relations at Boston University, admits that Pakistanis just don’t like the president's plan. A Pakistan native, Najam was recently awarded Pakistan's highest civilian award by President Ashif Ali Zadari -- the Star of Excellence -- for contributions in the fields of the environment, development and public policy.

“The worry is that the surge could…make the situation in Pakistan worse,” Najam said. “It is also likely and maybe more likely that what the surge will push the Afghanistan Taliban into Pakistan,” he explained.

Pakistanis don’t want to see a western victory in Afghanistan send Taliban troops across their border.

Professor Najam decried the lack of a regional approach to the conflict. “There’s a separate Afghanistan policy, there’s a separate Pakistan policy,” Najam said. “The real issue is that do you really get Afghanistan, Pakistan and the U.S. sitting together and doing this joint strategy.” he said.