`US to rely on Afghanistan to tackle Pak threats`

Pak has made it clear, however, that it will never allow American forces to be based there.

Washington: The US will be relying on Afghanistan`s help to tackle threats emerging from Pakistan, said the New York Times following President Barack Obama`s announement on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

A news analysis in the New York Times said that though the president could not say so directly, "one of the constraints on America`s retreat from a hard and bloody decade is the recognition that, more than ever, the United States will be relying on Afghanistan`s help to deal with the threats emerging from Pakistan".

It added that Pakistan`s angry reaction to the raid against Osama bin Laden "makes it more urgent than ever that the United States maintain sites outside the country to launch drone and commando raids against the militant networks that remain in Pakistan, and to make sure that Pakistan`s fast-growing nuclear arsenal never falls into the wrong hands".

There are reasons as to why the American planners hope to negotiate with Hamid Karzai government to keep upward of 25,000 American forces in Afghanistan, even after the 30,000 "surge" troops are withdrawn over the next 14 months.

"Their first is to assure that Afghanistan never again becomes a base for attacks on the United States. But the more urgent reason is Pakistan."

"Pakistan has already made it clear, however, that it will never allow American forces to be based there."

Administration officials see Pakistan`s harbouring of terrorist groups as the more urgent problem.

The Times went on to say that over the last 10 years, the Afghans have heard many promises from Washington.

Obama in 2009 spoke of a surge of "agricultural specialists and educators, engineers and lawyers" who would train Afghans how to create a modern country. The results have been limited.

An official said the administration`s primary focus now was "a much larger, and more dangerous, presence of insurgents remaining in Pakistan".


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