Pak suspects secret India-US deal


Prime VIP
Media reports claim Washington in touch with Indian diplomats

Even as delegations of India and Pakistan today kick-started their much-awaited attempt to reduce the “trust deficit” between the two countries, it’s the future of Afghanistan that is weighing heavy on the minds of leaders in Islamabad.

With the media reports claiming that the US wants to “hand over” the control of war-ravaged Afghanistan to Delhi, the Indian delegation today assured Pakistan that there was no cause of worry.

In Pakistan, the mainstream English media through its editorials has been “warning” Pakistan leaders of Washington’s growing interest in the war- ravaged Afghanistan.

The Nation, a newspaper published from Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore, in its front-page report on June 23 claimed that the US-led NATO forces were conducting secret, rather clandestine, meetings with Indian diplomats to find trainers for the Afghan National Army.

Pakistan will have no role once the US-led forces exit NATO in the future, the newspaper “forewarned” its readers. It went on to claim that US troops were engaging Indian trainers for the Afghan army and added that the UN assistance mission was also kept out of the meetings.

Rubbishing these claims, the Indian officials said a top-level Chinese delegation at a meeting with Afghan Premier, Hamid Karzai, in March this year offered to train the Afghan army. The Chinese presence would be uncomfortable for the US, they added.

To drive home the point that India is its key adversary and not Afghanistan or its gun-totting militia, the Pakistan army, in May this year, had launched a major war exercise. Around one lakh troops were engaged to show that it was ready to face any threat from the forces of “Falkland” - that is how India is referred to in Pakistani army war games.