Washington: Stating that Pakistan has used
terror groups in Kashmir against India, the US has cautioned
Islamabad that it is making "a serious, grievous, strategic
error" by supporting these outfits.
Pakistan believes that it can keep a "wild animal in the
backyard" and it will only go after its neighbour, Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton said.
But, there are too many stories where that don’t turn
out like that, she said.
"We are pressing and pushing on every lever that we have
in the relationship, and we have to be effective in trying to
achieve our strategic goal, which is to prevent any attacks
against us emanating from Pakistan, as well as to try to help
stabilise Pakistan against this internal threat, and to create
the best possible circumstances for Afghanistan to be able to
have control over its own future," Hillary said.
"Those are all extremely difficult and we are learning
it, each piece of that, every single day," she said in
response to a question after she delivered her remarks at the
"Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series" here.
Hillary said Pakistani people are trying to navigate
through a very difficult security environment.
"And I like to remind myself and my colleagues of that
because they have a great stake in trying to end terrorism
against themselves, but they bring to their fight against
terrorism deep concerns about the relationship with India,
about what happens in Afghanistan after US and coalition
troops draw down, what happens in the greater region that
could destabilise them further," she said.
Referring to the support US provided to these insurgent
groups during the fight against the Russians in Afghanistan,
Clinton said when she meets Pakistani officials, they rightly
say, "You`re the ones who told us to cooperate with these
people. You`re the ones who funded them.
"You`re the ones who equipped them. You`re the ones who
used them to bring down the Soviet Union by driving them out
of Afghanistan. And we are now both in a situation that is
highly complex and difficult to extricate ourselves from."
That is how they see it, she noted. "They also have used
groups in the past to support their ongoing conflict with
India over Kashmir. And when I became Secretary of State, they
were trying to basically appease the Pakistani Taliban who
were attacking them. So they were trying to draw a distinction
between the good terrorists and the bad terrorists, because we
had funded the good terrorists together."
"So they were dealing with this network of terrorism
that had been better organised and directed because of
al Qaeda, which brought a lot more funding into the border
area between Afghanistan and Pakistan and much more of a sense
of mission, because (Osama) bin Laden and those who worked
with him had a very highly developed idea about how to inflict
damage on the United States and others," Hillary said.
So, one of the US` first rounds of discussions with the
Pakistanis was how it was not in their interest to permit
terrorists to take over territory, something they thought
would appease them, which obviously did not and could not, she
said. "So they began moving troops off their Indian border.
They began going after the Pakistani Taliban."
"So I think it`s important that we appreciate their
perspective about where we both are right now. That in no way
excuses the fact that they are making a serious, grievous,
strategic error supporting these groups, because you think
that you can keep a wild animal in the backyard and it will
only go after your neighbour? We have too many stories where
that don’t turn out like that," Hillary said.