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BY SALIM BOKHARI | Thursday, 21 October 2010 | The Daily Mail
LAHORE, Pakistan—Obama Administration is under too much pressure from India not to concede anything to Pakistan in the third round of the ongoing strategic dialogue in Washington. In fact, for some time, the US Administration is following a policy of appeasing New Delhi which can be judged by the fact that US is maintaining double standards on Kashmir and Tibet. On one hand, the Americans are feeling the pain of human rights violations in Tibet condemning China while on the other hand they are tight-lipped on blatant state-sponsored terrorism in Indian-occupied Kashmir.
Therefore, Pakistani demands, no matter how genuine, would not be acceptable to the US military and civil leadership. For instance Islamabad has been demanding civil nuclear cooperation as had been extended to Indians but the same was being denied to us on one clumsy pretext or another. We have been asking for transfer of drone technology so that Pakistan military or air force could carry out operations against terrorists within Pakistani territory. This has also been refused to appease India. Not only this, we are time and again told in clear terms that no military assistance should be used against India. Adding insult to injury, we are being asked consistently that we should provide guarantees to this affect.
Another issue that would dominate the third round is a NATO commander’s statement saying that Osama Bin laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri are living in areas adjacent to the Pak-Afghan border. Pakistan has, on numerous occasions, said if NATO or the Americans have specific information they should share it with Pakistani intelligence agencies so that an action is initiated to capture them.
Another issue that would certainly come under discussion is the violation of Pakistani territory by NATO troops and by its helicopters. From the American side, we have heard only condolences over the killing and not the condemnation of the act as such. There has been a lot of criticism against the government for not reacting effectively and rather coming out with a lukewarm response. However, the Chief of the Army Staff reacted sharply and conveyed to the NATO commanders that such a violation would not be unacceptable in future. This has led to the apology by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the first day of strategic talks during talks with Gen. Kayani.
This op-ed is extracted from a longer commentary that appeared in The Daily Mail.
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