Wednesday, August 04, 2010

It's Called "Tough Love", Pakistan. Get Used To It

Emotional blackmail is bad diplomacy -- Pakistan has a problem

British Prime Minister David Cameron has been under diplomatic fire from Pakistan of late over some "frank" comments about Pakistan's relationship with terrorism.

"We cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror, whether to India or whether to Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world," Cameron asserted. "Democratic states that want to be part of the developed world cannot do that. The message to Pakistan from the US and the UK is very clear on that point."

Pakistan has not responded well.

Pakistani President Asif Zardani has declared that coalition forces are losing the war against the Taliban.

Unfortunately for Zardani, if coalition forces are losing the war against the Taliban it's largely because of the support elements within his country's military provide to both the Taliban specifically, and to Islamic militancy in general.

The anti-India agenda pursued by many of those within Pakistan's military is particularly problematic.

Former Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan Chris Alexander stated that General Ashaq Kayani had prepared a plan to destroy Indian consolates and their embassy in Kabul.

According to OneIndia, Kayani has, in the past, told President Karzai that he could negotiate peace with the Taliban if only he would expel Pakistan's diplomats from the country and close their embassy and consolates.

General Kayani is said to be dedicated to fighting Islamic militancy. But his evident obsession with India only takes much-needed focus away from that problem.

David Cameron needs to remind Asif Zardani that he has two options: the first is to address the problems within his country that contribute aid and comfort to the Taliban, or he can decide to not do so.

Should he decide not to do so, he has no place complaining about any criticisms he may face for that decision.

David Cameron, on the other hand, needs to continue to focus international pressure on Pakistan to address these problems. If this means confronting Pakistan with the prospects of diplomatic and economic isolation, this is what simply has to be done.

It's called "tough love". Until it starts living up to its international responsibilities, Pakistan needs to get used to it.

1 comment:

  1. Western democracies have interests in many failed states but I don't know how many have the nuke option available.

    Will we be better off to pack up and leave them to their own regional conflicts as planned in 2011?

    I look forward to Chris Alexander replacing Mark Holland in the next election.


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