Washington: A US report assessing the Obama administration’s policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan is less upbeat about the latter, citing continued strains between Washington and Islamabad over the May 2 US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.
Obama’s letter to congressional leaders, wherein he made his declaration about US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, accompanied the semi-annual report.
The report addressed continued political instability in Pakistan that has confounded efforts to undertake economic reforms, The Nation reports.
America’s contributions to Pakistan’s counterinsurgency and counterterrorism efforts decreased because of reductions in the US military presence in the country at the request of the Pakistan government, the report said.
There is no mention of alleged links between Pakistani intelligence and the Haqqani network, but the report contains two classified annexes that were not made public.
“Insurgent activity and high-profile strikes against security and government forces contributed to a decline in the security situation,” the report stated.
Former US Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee chairman Admiral Mike Mullen had caused a diplomatic storm by saying at a recent Senate hearing that the Haqqani network of terrorists was “a veritable arm” of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and that the Pakistani intelligence agency had directed the militant group’s recent attacks at US installations in Kabul.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 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.”
“Those are all extremely difficult and we are learning it, each piece of that, every single day,” Clinton said in response to a question after she delivered her remarks at the “Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series”.