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US urged not to make Pakistan a scapegoat

haqqaniWASHINGTON: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US has urged the United States and its allies not to make his country a scapegoat for their collective failure in Afghanistan.

Talking to White House correspondents at his residence in Washington, Ambassador Husain Haqqani said that the US and its Nato allies should not indulge in playing the blame game on this important and crucial issue. “Rather than blaming Pakistan, they should concentrate and focus on how to end increasing radicalisation in their societies,” he said.

Mr Haqqani said that Pakistan was doing its best to fight against terrorism, and that no other country had sacrificed as much as the Pakistan Army and people there had done so far to make the world a terror-free place.

“It is not the time for US or Nato countries to blame Pakistan for their failures in Afghanistan, but to focus on united efforts to defeat the terrorists,” he added.

Mr Haqqani’s assertions are backed by two recent articles in The Washington Post and The New York Times, both urging the Obama administration not to push Pakistan for more military actions against the militants at this stage.

David Ignatius, a Washington Post associate editor, quoted a senior US military official in Islamabad as telling him that the US debate about Pakistan was becoming “hyper-focused” on a demand that the Pakistani army attack North Waziristan.

The official told Mr Ignatius he believed that Pakistan was incapable of meeting this demand because their forces were “stretched too thin”.

“The harder Washington pushes for a crackdown, the more Islamabad seems to resist. And the explanation is simple. The two countries’ interests differ on this one: America, with its forces exposed in Afghanistan, wants action now. Pakistan, facing a nationwide campaign of terrorism, wants to concentrate on its internal threat,” Mr Ignatius observed.

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