WASHINGTON – Former assistant secretary of state for South Asia, Robin Raphel, refuted allegations of Afghan ambassador and expressed that the new generation of Pakistani military officers was more sensitive to terrorism than its predecessors.
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At a weekend seminar on Afghanistan in California, America’s most prestigious forum on security issues, the Afghan ambassador Hamdullah Mohib spoke before Ms Raphel and urged the international community to stop supporting Pakistan.
“Pakistan is moving toward becoming a state that supports terrorism as an element of foreign policy, to a state that believes in terrorism,” he claimed.
The ambassador went a mile more and alleged that the new cadre of officers in the Pakistani military believed in terrorism as an ideology and as those officers rose through the ranks, they would create more problems for the world.
“If we continue to give Pakistan a free pass, imagine the conflict at a time when the military is one million strong, has nuclear weapons, has sophisticated intelligence and believes in extremism at its core,” he warned.
He also urged the international community to work with the Pakistani civilian leadership to keep the military in check.
However, after having spewed the venom against Pakistan, once again, US security expert Raphel who is termed a pro-Pakistan American confronted the allegations and disagreed with Mr Mohib’s claim that “terrorism and Pakistan are equated”.
She maintained Pakistan was one of the numerous countries that have a “proxy” in Afghanistan but also cited a reason for that compulsion.
“It was likely to keep that proxy as long as uncertainty existed on the outcome of the conflict’ she said and added that the statement of Afghan envoy was “a little bit misleading” and inaccurate.
Ms Raphel, who also had to face an FBI inquiry last year because of her alleged links with Islamabad said a lack of clarity in Washington’s policies was preventing Pakistan from breaking its links with the Haqqani network.
Ms Raphel noted that during a visit to Pakistan earlier this month, Senator John McCain too asked Islamabad to do more and what he heard from the Pakistanis was: They too are waiting for an overall US policy.
Pakistan’s ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary decided not to attend the seminar because of a recent experience in Washington where he was hooted and ridiculed at a similar event.