Bad News, Good News from South Asia
Asia Society, Jun 28, 2010
“U.S. policy options in Afghanistan have become more complicated by the day. Following the Gen. McChrystal fiasco, a silver lining is the appointment of Gen. Petraeus as new commander -- the best bet for the U.S. in this scenario. However, it appears the Afghan leadership is busy charting its own path, which doesn’t necessarily coincide with U.S. interests. CIA Director Leon Panetta’s disclosure that according to his organization's estimate, Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan's tribal region -- FATA -- adds a new twist to the whole story. The million dollar question: If that is indeed the case, then why is the U.S. spending billions of dollars in the security sector in Afghanistan? Reports that Afghan President Hamid Karzai secretly met the notorious Haqqani recently (most likely through the good offices of Pakistani intelligence) also explains the diminishing space for a U.S. role in defining the future of Afghanistan. Perhaps another high level policy review in White House is due!” says Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Fellow Hassan Abbas.
“The good news from the region relates to a series of meetings between Indian and Pakistani interior ministers (who manage internal security) in Pakistan last week. Both countries decided their premier law enforcement agencies will cooperate and that both countries, along with other South Asian states, will stand against terrorism together. The Indian army reportedly also expressed its appreciation for some successes in the Pakistani military action in FATA -- a rare development. Hopefully these interactions will continue and gather momentum, brightening the prospects of peace in South Asia.”