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Promising Partnership? US-Pakistan Relations under Obama
in Usama Butt and N. Elahi, ed., Pakistan's Quagmire: Security, Strategy, and the Future of the Islamic–nuclear Nation(New York: Continuum, 2010), pp. 39-74
Pakistan Quagmire, Continuum, 2010
If the United States is willing to co-opt moderate insurgents in Afghanistan’s political and security structure, then this will surely encourage Pakistani security establishment to re-think its strategic depth strategy. Co-opting moderate insurgents, meaning Pashtun majority, amid an intensified security campaign, will be an option that cannot be exercised successfully without Pakistan’s cooperation, because of the most crucial ground reality of the Durand Line: the Pashtun ethnicity straddling across this frontier, which is a major source of current insurgent trouble in the region, but can be a potential factor in overcoming the terrorist quagmire in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Being Afghanistan’s principal neighbour, Pakistan seeks an Afghan solution that credibly incorporates the security, political and economic grievances of its majority Pashtun population, simply because, without that, its own Pashtun population inhabiting tribal areas east of the Durand Line remains aggrieved. A military campaign that crushes terrorist-insurgents to the extent that moderate constituencies are created among the forces of insurgency—be they in Afghanistan or Pakistan—which are willing to renounce violence, dissociate their links from al-Qaeda and participate in the political process largely on the basis of the interests of the state parties does have a scope of success. However uncertain its outcome, it must be given a chance. Full Text