Washington: Pakistan has always hedged its bet with the Taliban and is paranoid about a close relationship between Afghanistan and India, paralysing America`s diplomatic ability in the war-torn country, a retired US general has said.
The American interests` conflict with those of Pakistan in Afghanistan, retd Gen Jack Keane, former Vice Chief of Staff, and currently the chairman of the Board for the Institute for the Study of War, said during a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan.
"That`s why they`ve always hedged their bet with the Taliban, so to speak, because they believe they may in fact have to deal with them again, and they`re very concerned about the incumbent government and what they perceive to be a closer relationship between that government and India, which is the paranoia that the Pakistanis have always suffered from," Keane said.
"So this adds to the complication of this relationship and the fact that they are a growing nuclear arsenal in the region with a military oligarchy that truly runs the country, a largely ineffective civilian government, and it gives us a lot of concern, you know, for the region.
"And then you add the added factor of support for the Afghan sanctuaries in Pakistan."
"I believe it`s paralysed our ability diplomatically, you know, to deal effectively with them as it pertains to the issue on Afghanistan," Keane said.
Keane said he has been disappointed with America`s inability to shape the conditions a little bit to bring the Pakistanis closer to what US objective is as it pertains to those sanctuaries.
"And obviously they have interests that we can influence as well in a concerted effort to do that. I think we could have achieved better diplomatic progress than what we have had to date," he noted.