25 November, 2020

To Catch A Falling Star

In post-Taliban Afghanistan, Islamabad is marginalised, with its foreign policy in in tatters.

To Catch A Falling Star
You have to give it to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. Even in these gloomy days, he looks cool and assured, his mood remains upbeat and his stride hasn't lost its familiar spring. But this insouciant visage of his conceals a man extremely worried—and angry—at the way the war against terrorism in Afghanistan has quickly undermined Islamabad's interests. There's obviously a lesson in all this: never put all your eggs in one basket.

But the general, and the Pakistani establishment, had done precisely this, and he's ruing the decision. Just look at the way the Taliban collapse has also brought about a collapse of Pakistan's Afghan policy. Three months ago, Kabul was Islamabad's backyard; it called all the shots there. In just a fortnight of Kabul's fall, Pakistan is the only one of Afghanistan's six neighbours which doesn't have a presence there. Forget Russia and Iran, even India has a team there. No wonder the general is worried and anxious, as people close to him confirm.

Gen Musharraf is also angry at Washington, at how President Bush led him up the garden...


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