Wednesday, September 30, 2009

‘Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) wants US to back Karzai’

In DAWN/ here
"... The ISI believes that despite “all his imperfections, Mr Karzai has one essential quality that American strategists lack — he’s an Afghan,” writes David Ignatius. 
ISI officials suggest that Mr Karzai should capitalise on the post-election ferment by calling for a ceasefire so that he can form a broadly-based government that includes some Taliban representatives. 
The ISI fears that a US military surge in Afghanistan would be counter-productive but it also believes that a US pullout would endanger Pakistan as well, writes Mr Ignatius. 
He says the ISI is keenly debating a new US strategy for Afghanistan proposed by the top US and Nato commander in Kabul, Gen Stanley McChrystal. 
“The ISI leadership thinks the US can’t afford to lose in Afghanistan, and it worries that a security vacuum there would endanger Pakistan,” Mr Ignatius writes. “But it also fears a big military surge could be counter-productive.” .....ISI officials believe the US should be realistic about its war objectives. If victory is defined as obliteration of the Taliban, the US will never win. But the US can achieve the more limited aim of rough political stability, if it is patient. ..."

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