International

Pakistan cautions U.S. on two-pronged offensive

It fears that it will suffer the blowback

Pakistan is believed to have told U.S. interlocutors that a major military offensive against the Taliban from both sides of the Afghan border, if it fails, will have negative consequences for the entire region, according to a media report published on Monday.

The key element in the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan is to launch a two-pronged military offensive that inflicts a military defeat on the Taliban and forces them to join the Afghan reconciliation process on Kabul’s conditions, diplomatic sources told Dawn news.

U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis at his weekend briefing at the Pentagon urged Islamabad to cooperate with the U.S. in defeating the Afghan Taliban.

Pakistan fear that a major military offensive, without engaging some Taliban factions in direct talks first, could be counterproductive. The Taliban might outlive this offensive too, and deal with it “lying low in their mountain fastness, as they did with previous offensives”, one interlocutor said.

And in the process Pakistan will lose whatever influence it has. With all lines of communication closed, the Taliban will become even more dangerous, particularly for Pakistan, which has always faced the blowback of previous adventures in Afghanistan, whether launched by the Russians or Americans, the report said.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 1:44:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistan-cautions-us-on-two-pronged-offensive/article22398599.ece

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