Pakistan deserves mention

In talking about the war in Afghanistan, we cannot forget about Pakistan.

by Ian Byrne


ThursdayâÄôs editorial about the war in Afghanistan, âÄúThe long war gets longer,âÄù made no mention of Pakistan. I agree with my colleagues on the Editorial Board that the war has gone on for too long. However, to end the war, the U.S. must look outside Afghanistan. Taliban safe havens in Pakistan must be addressed for any progress to be made in Afghanistan.

Pakistan views the Taliban and allied groups as an extension of Pakistani power and uses them as a proxy to undermine Indian interests. India is PakistanâÄôs archrival.

PakistanâÄôs intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, provides intelligence and shelter for the Taliban leadership council, the Quetta Shura, in Quetta, Baluchistan. From there, funds and orders are directed to Taliban shadow governors and fighters across Afghanistan.

In North Wasziristan, the al-Qaida linked Haqqani network, closely allied with the Taliban, trains and recruits fighters before passing through the porous border into Afghanistan. The Haqqani network was responsible for the ISI-planned suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul in 2008. North Wasziristan is also home to al-QaidaâÄôs top leadership.

We have no reason to be in Afghanistan right now. President Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that our mission in Afghanistan is to âÄúdisrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida.âÄù Well, we have disrupted, dismantled and defeated al-Qaida in Afghanistan. The problem is that it moved and set up shop across the border in Pakistan.

PakistanâÄôs support for these militant groups bolsters the insurgency that is killing U.S. and NATO troops. Pakistan is supposed to be an ally of the U.S. in the war on terror. The U.S. should be asking Pakistan: When will enough be enough?


Ian Byrne welcomes comments at [email protected].