4 US soldiers were killed yesterday in Afghanistan, and 3 more injured in a bomb attack in the southern province of Zabul next to Pakistan.
What is pissing the Americans has been the fact that the Talibans sit safely across the Afghan-Paki border and fired at them. The US went as far as to photograph Taliban fighters launching stuff like rockets and at American troops from the safety of Pakistan. To add more vinegar to the poison, the Talibans did all these within sight of a Pakistani military observation post.
Now, you know why the Pakistani President has refused the Americans hot pursuit into Paki territory - I have blogged on this before.
When the Americans showed the pictures of Talibans slipping into Paki territory to the Paki officials they found out that the Pakis became suddenly and strangely blind because the latter said they saw buggerall. Hey, buddy, Pakistan is the most peaceful and tranquil place in the world, and there isn’t any Talibans, only Pashtuns.
Wait, wait, there are more American grievances. This would have been funny if it didn’t involve lives. Whenever the American were chasing the Talibans and rang the Pakis to tell them of their pursuit, the Pakis on seeing the Americans coming near the border, refused to pick up the phone.
Since winter, more than 700 Afghans and 45 Americans have died as a result of Taliban border raids into Afghanistan. Can you believe the Pakis saying they have sent an additional 74,000 troops to the border region to stop such Taliban activities?
American and Afghan officials know that sections of Pakistan's military and intelligence services are still loyal to their Pashtun brethren, the Taliban, who have been trained by the Pakis to use up-to-date remote-controlled bombs.
What General Musharraf has been doing has been a process of selective weeding of non-Taliban/non-Pashtun-Paki terrorists to please the Americans but protecting the Talibans.
The Pakis want the Talibans for several reasons – (1) to support the Kashmir insurgency, (2) as strategic reserves and depth for Pakistan in the eventual kahuna battle with India over Kashmir, and (3) a pro-Paki force to take over Afghanistan when Ahmad Karzai’s government collapses, as it will. All three are inter-related for one sole objective, to pursue the attainment of Pakistan’s obsession, the province of Kashmir, over which it was, has been, is and will be at war with India. Whether the war is covert, overt, real, pretend, declared or otherwise is beside the point, but it is certainly at war.
The Americans are growing so frustrated that some officers have openly stated that they won’t be able to distinguish the Afghan-Paki border. When the day comes for American troops to ignore such political restriction and maintain their hot pursuit, it’ll be interesting to see how Pakistan reacts.