Obama and Imran are on same page
It seems the US president Barack Obama and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, despite their apparently differing stance on Islamabad’s involvement with or inadvertent complicity in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, are pretty much on the same page as far as India is concerned. While Barack Obama, on one hand, ‘grills’ Nawaz Sharif, mildly chastising him for not cooperating with adequately or punishing those involved with one of the world’s most televised tragedies, he, on the other, justifies why the United States resumed $1.6 billion aid to Pakistan after a lengthy hiatus. Already, the post 11 May election scenario in the neighbouring country is looking grim, with prime minister Sharif barely able to put a straw together and curb the growing incursions, infiltrations and breach of ceasefire across the Line of Control bordering India and Pakistan. Evidently, Sharif and even the outgoing, democracy-loving chief of army staff (COAS) General Kayani, are not looped in when it comes to fringe elements perpetrating terror on both sides of the barb wire. Yet, the US’ response to Sharif’s utter incompetence to bring the situation under control is simply to hike up the foreign aid, and only perfunctorily castigate the Pakistan Muslim League government for their resounding failures.
Ironically enough, even as the US continues with its reprehensible drone strikes in Pakistani soil, it does not rap Pakistan where it is most needed. In a similar vein, the PTI supremo Imran Khan justifies his meeting with the alleged 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, the leader of the banned Jamat-ud-Dawa group, a front for the openly militant Lashkar-e-Taeba, asserting that ‘political parties do not boycott people.’ This is in keeping with Khan’s earlier stances of never condemning the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban, even though the list of terrorist activities engineered by the extremist faction goes increasing by the day. It is simply appalling that a leader of the stature of Imran Khan, who’s touted as the next prime minister of the country and a hope for the educated younger generation, chose to not just enter into a political understanding with Saeed, but actively justify it on public platforms. Unless, Pakistan and US end this mutual symbiosis of terror breeding terror, with aids and arms supply to ensure that the vicious cycle never ends, the future of a compatible tripartite relationship is bound to remain bleak that no amount of diplomatic talks can salvage.