The standoff between the United States and Pakistan appears to be coming to an end, as both the countries have successfully resolved the issue of reopening the NATO supply routes. The United States has reportedly released first tranche of $1.2 billion under the coalition support fund and other issues are also being sorted out. The relations between both the countries reached at their lowest ebb in November last year following the Salala checkpost incident, wherein more than two dozen Pakistani troops were allegedly killed by NATO forces.
Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Chief Lieutenant General Zaheerul Islam is on an official visit to the United States and all set to discuss issues of mutual interests with his counterpart, CIA director David Petraeus. Meeting between both of them is scheduled for today (Thursday).
It should be noted that the United States Congress and Senate have passed a bill, recommending the US government to declare Pakistan-based Haqqani network a terrorist outfit. The bill is now with President, who has yet to make a decision on that.
Some discerning observers, who are monitoring the relations between both the states and meeting of the ISI chief with top congressional leaders, opine that the United States will demand a decisive action against the Haqqani network. The top leadership of the United States believes that the Haqqani network is involved in cross-border attacks on NATO troops in Afghanistan. It is not for the first time that the US is going to demand a military offensive against the terror network based in the tribal and lawless area of Pakistan.
The powerful military of Pakistan has been dilly dallying over a military action against the network. Actually, the top brass of Pakistan army believes that the Haqqani network is a strategic asset for them, and they desire to use the terrorists against Afghan government for their vested interests shortly after US-led coalition forces depart from the volatile country at the end of 2014. On the other hand, US sleuths and the civilian leadership believe that long-lasting peace can only be achieved in Afghanistan if Pakistan army eliminates the terrorist network in a full-fledged military offensive.
According to media reports, the ISI chief yesterday held important meetings with top congressional leaders at the official residence of Pakistan’s ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman. It is expected that Lieutenant General Zaheerul Islam will raise the issue of drone strikes with his counterpart and seek an end to it. However, the Obama administration has already clearly stated that drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal area will continue until last terrorist is eliminated.