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Is Pakistan At War With the United States?

Possibly, or at least part of its government may be.

The United States government believes it has evidence linking the Haqqani network, a terrorist organization which has repeatedly carried out attacks against US government personnel and positions, with the government of Pakistan. As ABC News (Australia) reports,

The United States says there is evidence linking the Pakistani government to the militant group that carried out last week’s attack on the US embassy in Kabul.

The US ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, claims there are links between the Pakistani government and high-profile terrorist group the Haqqani network.

In blunt comments broadcast by state-run Radio Pakistan, Mr Munter said: “Let me tell you that the attack that took place in Kabul a few days ago that was the work of the Haqqani network,” he said, referring to a deadly miltant attack in on Tuesday.

“There is evidence linking the Haqqani network to the Pakistan government. This is something that must stop.”

During the US Civil War, our ambassador in London, Charles Francis Adams, was increasingly concerned by signs that the British government was tolerating the construction of Confederate warships that would attack Union commerce on the high seas.  “It would be superfluous in me,” he told the British foreign minister of the day, “to observe to your lordship that this is war.”

Britain — at the time, the greatest power in the world — stepped up the enforcement of its neutrality legislation, and after the war paid millions in compensation for the damage the Confederate raiders had done.

You don’t have to read very far between the lines to hear a similar message in Ambassador Munter’s latest remarks. I hope they are listening in Islamabad.  I also hope they are paying attention in Washington.  Via Meadia supports a continued US-Pakistan relationship, but in our view the US has to be ready to walk away for the relationship to have a chance.  As long as Pakistan thinks we have no option, it will continue to play gruesome games.  In fact, we have a number of pretty good options, and it is high time we explored them in depth.

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  • http://westernhero.blogspot.com/ silverfiddle

    Yes, they are at war with us, but we are the ones who switched sides. Our “friendship” began when we helped the Mujadeen defeat the Soviets. We’ve now turned on them, so in their minds, we’re the traitors.

    We have no business there. I served over there, and we tried to create a space for the Afghans to better their lives. It hasn’t worked.

    It is no disrespect to those brave Americans who have fought and died there to say it’s time to pack up and go home. Our warriors fought bravely and won tactical victories only to see us blow it politically and strategically.

  • http://westernhero.blogspot.com/ silverfiddle

    I was in Afghanistan when the Kashmir earthquake happened. We offered food, shelter and medical assistance, but the Pakistanis wanted no American troops on the ground. They simply wanted us to drop supplies with no US markings.

    This was after the Indonesian tsunami, where our benevolence greatly enhanced our image in the eyes of Indonesians. It was clear Pakistan wanted no such thing happening in their country.

  • Marke

    The Pakis need us more than we need them. Without our backing the Indians will take the Indus Valley and the Chinese will repopulate the the mountains with the Han. The Chinese don’t like dissenting points of view or religion very much so it could get very ugly.

  • Walter Sobchak

    Of course they are at war with us. There is no other logical explanation for OBL being located next to the Military Academy. The war they have conducted through proxies and attacks elsewhere serves them well, it makes us need them, and it makes us sit on India to gain their cooperation so that we can continue to flop around in Afghanistan. We continue to send them money and hardware to gain their rather minimal cooperation.

    There are many questions. When did they begin? Did they send KSM to OBL? Or did he belong to another secret service. If you read Lawrence Wright’s “The Looming Tower”, OBL was running the gang that couldn’t shoot straight before he got to Afghanistan and meet KSM. Was any other country involved? Laurie Milroie’s theories have been dismissed, but they would fill a number of gaps here. Why did they burn KSM? Did the Daniel Pearl murder make them think he had gone Col. Kurtz on them?

    Clearly we should get out of Afghanistan, we cannot win a war against Pakistan fighting in another country. Once out of Afghanistan, we should do what we can to destroy Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. Further, we should openly work with India to cabin Pakistan.

  • Luke Lea

    One difference: Pakistan is not among the most powerful states in the world.

  • Luke Lea

    Incidentally, I there is an absolutely fascinating discussion about the Pakistan Taliban by an anthroplogist specializing in the area over at Blogginheads.tv. today (yesterday now). Mead would not want to miss it, nor would his readers, I think The link is to a point midway through.

  • http://ww.chicagoboyz.com Trent J. Telenko

    The discovery of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan’s most secure stronghold at Abbottabad, just 800 yards from Pakistan’s West Point was clear and convincing evidence that Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism against America. There is no other reasonable explanation.

    Nor was there any other reasonable explanation that the downing of a US Army MH-47 Chinook by the “Taliban” filled with members of Seal Team Six was purely the Pakistani ISI retaliating for the public killing Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.

    We already knew Pakistan is what we feared a nuclear-armed Iran would be — a nuclear-armed, terrorist supporting, state. Just ask India about Mumbai and the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

    Thanks to Abbottabad — and the Seal Team 6 retaliation by the ISI — we know that Pakistan is attacking us too.

    Al Qaeda is the operational arm of Pakistani intelligence (ISI) attacking us just as Lashkar-e-Taiba is its operational arm attacking India.

    There are no good options with Pakistan, just greater or lesser degrees of bad ones. Given its possession of nuclear weapons, there is little we can safely do to deter Pakistani terrorism against us. Nothing short of actually destroying the nuclear-armed Pakistani state, and the rapid, forcible, seizure of its nuclear weapons, will protect America from Pakistani terrorism – they’ll build more nukes if we allow the Pakistani state to survive.

    The only thing that unites the Muslim peoples of Pakistan in any sort of nationalist identity in support of the Pakistani state is their hate for India.

    They live a negative self-identity of “not being Indian” the way Canada does by “not being American”national — with a lot more blood.

    This means that Kashmir’s and other terrorist activities aimed at India are a prerequisite activity for any Pakistani State power faction attempting to gain dominant power there.

    Americans interfering in that fact are a on-going threat to Pakistani domestic stability, such as it is.

    The failing Pakistani state does not fit into Western ideas of what a state is and what a government of that state does. The Pakistani state is a vehicle by which the various Pakistani power factions/family-based groups extract resources from the Pakistani people and especially foreigners for their own purposes. It is the tool to vie for power and eliminate the other Pakistani factions.

    The Pakistani government, such as it is, exists primarily as a vehicle to deal with the outside world by keeping foreigners from invading and extracting money from gullible foreigners, primarily Westerners.

    The Pakistani Army, chief among the Pakistani power factions, knows how to share the wealth in a better, less corrupt manner than Pakistani civilian politicians (who are very corrupt and have sharing issues) and the Jihadi nuts (who are on a mission from God).

    This is why the Pakistani army periodically takes over the Pakistani state, then cede it back to the civilian politicians. It knows it can’t run everything and it needs civilian front men to get money from the West.

    India’s immediate problems and the WORLD’s stem from Pakistan. It is the Disneyland of jihad and India is their neighbor. Outside Afghanistan, the rest of the world is escaping the mayhem because India is both next door and a soft target.

    And Abbottabad showed that distance is no barrier to Pakistani supported terrorists.

    Pakistan does this because it can, and thanks to it’s nukes, the failed Pakistani state is safe to continue these policies.

    That isn’t “screwing the pooch,” “jumping the shark,” or “squeezing all the toothpaste out of the tube.” It is coldly rational from their point of view.

    America, like India, can do whatever it wants internally to stop its current terrorist problem, but Pakistan will continue to sponsor terror.

    There will always be some terrorist clique that one of the Pakistani state power factions will have built up to start the terrorism cycle all over again. It is all about them and their internal power games, not about us.

    India defeated the Punjab insurgency. Then Pakistan started Kashmir.

    Then India, for all practical purposes defeated the Kashmir insurgency, and reduced it to a trickle, with Israeli technical assistance.

    Pakistani terrorist then attacked soft targets inside India like Mumbai.

    What Abbottabad showed is the Pakistanis did that “attacking of soft targets” to America first, on 9/11/2001, as well.

    Now it is true America has some allies inside that failed state dealing with the more Islamist factions, but often times we cannot tell the Islamists from the “non-Islamist” because both our allies and the Islamists factions inside the Pakistani are Pakistani nationalists one and all. When it comes to Indian terrorism, there are indistinguishable.

    And once you support any Islamist terrorist group, you support Islamist terrorists attacking America.

    The truth we have to face is that there is no one there who can enforce peace over all the Pakistani factions, and turn ISI’s Islamist terrorists off, because Islamist hate — versus India or America — is the only thing that can rally popular support for the Pakistani State.

    As a result, the Islamist factions inside the Pakistani state have more “deniability” for terrorist operations than the Mullah’s of Iran. To be blunt, the Pakistanis were playing a game of “Moderate Iranian Mullah” with us…until we found and killed Osama Bin Laden

    Whatever their colorings, the members of the Pakistani state — civilian or military — are Pakistani nationalists. The only thing that unites the Pakistani people behind the state in any meaningful way is hate and right now war with India is its focal point.

    Every faction of the Pakistani state will use that card to stay in power domestically, whatever they are saying to the West. They will use our assistance from outside to count coup on other Pakistani state factions, but they all will lie to any and all outsiders about war and terrorism with India. They need it to much to maintain the Pakistani state in existence.

    And their existence as a WMD armed, terrorist sponsoring, state is a existential threat to America.

  • NaSa

    There is a lot of sneering condescension in the world about how “dumb” Americans are. Most of it is unwarranted and is mostly based out of envy and resentment over the fact that the US is the sole super power in the world.

    How ever there are some cases where it is not only warranted but easily justifiable – 10 years have gone by since 9/11 and you guys are just now “figuring” out things.As in who the enemy is.

    The Taliban, Al-Qaeda etc are minor bit players when compared to the only Islamic nuclear weapons state (thanks to Ronald Reagan and the Europeans turning a blind eye to the Paki nuke program and China for helping build it)

    Btw, no one who truly knows/understands the geopolitics of the region truly believes in this piece of American chicanery. We are now supposed to believe that SUDDENLY the US has “discovered evidence” that the Haqqani network is actually a client of the Pakistan military…oops sorry let me rephrase it for you.. has “ties to the Pakistan Government”

    Where were you guys when the Indian Embassy in Kabul was bombed by the Haqqani network in alliance with the ISI in July 2008 ? Oh yeah.. you were busy looking the other way.

    Now after discovering Osama Bin Laden’s “hideout”, the US is being forced to confront the hard and ugly truth which it tried so hard to suppress and never deal with – the real enemy is an Islamic nation state of close to 200 million people whose military controls every thing from the Government to Sunni version of Islamic terrorism ( with able assistance from the House of Saud)

    USA, you reap what you sow. Sleep with the dogs, you get up with fleas.

    What the US military chiefs in the Pentagon and civilian law makers in Congress are doing is nothing short of treason – sending money and weapons to Pakistan in the name of “fighting terrorism” when the Paki military takes the money and weapons and then kills American soldiers in cold blood.

    Sounds too simplistic you say? The Pakis have cooperated a lot, you say ?? How did that work when you tried to capture OBL ? right – NON-COOPERATION was the key

    Pakistan is showing you the middle figure and there is really nothing that you can do other than firing a few drones.

    Playing Whack a mullah is not a strategy – and you are doomed to fail. just as you deserve to.

  • Diggs

    Okay, so we add Pakistan to the list of fifty or so muslim countries that are at war with us via covert or overt support of terrorists. The last American leader that would carry on a fight against an enemy with the full arsenal at his disposal despite the political fallout was Truman. Prior to that, it was Geronimo. We don’t produce such leaders but once every hundred years or so.

  • great unknown

    Using the same criteria, parts of the United States Administration are are war with us, at least at the economic terrorism level.

  • Ivan

    Since the Chinese officially warned the US that “Any Attack on Pakistan Would be Construed as an Attack on China”, I am not so sure about “pretty good options”.

  • NaSa

    @diggs
    It is not exactly a “once in a 100 year leader” thing.Your military and civilian administrators are way too cozy with Pakistan for various geopolitical reasons.

    another 9/11 can happen (and you can trace it all back to pakistan) and there will still be huge voices of sympathy for pakistan.

    watch condoleeza rice’s interview following the bin laden killing – she likened the hideout located in a pakistani military cantonment as nothing more than an “embarrassment” to the pakistani govt. and she used to be the secretary of state during a very critical time – when pakistan openly allowed taliban rehabilitation.

    there is more to this than what meets the eye. you guys are basically trying to wager an exit deal out of the region – but it so clumsily transparent that you have no leverage.

    after all you are the ones who declared pakistan will be over run by islamic zealots once you “leave”. duh. it turns out that islamic zealots ARE running the pakistani government and they go by the name of Pakistani army and the ISI

    epic fail, america – epic fail. cannot wait for you guys to leave with your tails tucked between your legs.

  • AD

    “…The last American leader that would carry on a fight against an enemy with the full arsenal at his disposal despite the political fallout was Truman…”

    Which is why I have such vivid memories of the A-bombs detonating in Manchuria, and MacArthur accepting the surrender of Mao in Peking.

  • Gene

    This current administration will never overtly threaten Pakistan or even worse China. We are witnessing a slide of power that the current adminstration has given away, in pursuit of goals such as healthcare and amnisty for aliens. sadly we have to pray we are not truely threatened untill we have a Republican President.

  • Mannie

    Playing both sides against the middle is typical mid eastern politics. [Heck], it’s pretty typical politics in general, but the Pakis and others don’t mind playing with blood. We should ensure they know their actions have a price.

  • Georgiaboy61

    Our alliance with Pakistan dates back to the Cold War, when then-socialist India was alligned with the USSR and China. We allied with the Pakistanis as a result, but those days are gone. Our natural ally in the region is India, which shares many western values and is non-Muslim, rather than Islamic Pakistan. The Pakistanis haven’t been our allies in many years; they’ve been playing us for all we are worth. Are our elected and senior military leaders that stupid or are they just in denial?

  • Georgiaboy61

    Re: “What the US military chiefs in the Pentagon and civilian law makers in Congress are doing is nothing short of treason – sending money and weapons to Pakistan in the name of “fighting terrorism” when the Paki military takes the money and weapons and then kills American soldiers in cold blood.”

    NaSa, you’ve told an important truth that our mandarins in Washington DC will not – that U.S. aid to Pakistan is being siphoned off to aid and abet our enemies. American and NATO troops are being killed with weapons and training, in some cases, supplied by our side! This is beyond foolish; this is misconduct on a massive scale.

  • onparkstreet

    @ Silverfiddle

    That is incorrect. Our alliance with Pakistan goes back to the very beginning. We gave about 500 million as initial military aid in the late 1940s. The Brits stayed on to build the Pakistani Army after partition. We built the army as a bullwark against the Soviets and from the beginning the military feudal elite siphoned off money for its own purposes. The double dealing has always gone both ways but our foreign policy elite ignored it because they valued Pakistan as a client state.

    This idea that we betrayed them is simply fantasy. It has always worked because most are ignorant of the real history of the region. The people running that country are tough and brutal when it comes to retaining power. Our ignorance enables the propaganda.

    – Madhu

  • Baba

    Nice propaganda against Pakistan.

  • Mother

    I would hope the American people have learnt to ask for verifiable evidence instead of accepting amorphous “claims by government officials”. You know, in a post-“16 words” world.

  • JM

    Here is a question to ponder: Is Pakistan’s cold war vs the U.S. an expression of its rational self-interest?
    The argument for this usually goes as follows:
    Pakistan, in its ongoing strategic competition with India, needs “strategic depth” in Afghanistan, necessitating the use of Taliban and related entities to overthrow the current Afghan government.

    But does this really make rational sense? What does “strategic depth” in Afghanistan really mean? How would it save them if it India and Pakistan really went to war?

    How does encouraging and supporting terrorist attacks (like in Mumbai) work in Pakistan’s self interest? It only serves to isolate Pakistan internationally, and increases the risk of provoking India into military actions that could destroy Pakistan.

    And how does constantly poking the eye of the U.S. help Pakistan? Surely, if Pakistan accomplishes its goal of helping push out the US and then overthrowing the Afghan government, the US will throw its strategic weight firmly behind India, which would damage Pakistan security interests far more than the ballyhooed “strategic depth” in Afghanistan would ever gain them.

    Pakistan’s military seems to think the China is some ace in the hole for them. Now does that make any sense at all? Can you think of any country that has gotten any real benefit out of being China’s ally? Does Pakistan aspire to be like North Korea or Burma? (well at least Burma doesn’t sell nukes on the black-market and North Korea no longer sponsors much international terrorism…)

    When looking at Pakistan, it really does feel like they’ve given up on being a normal member of the international community, and instead has decide to head down the route of isolation and rogue state status. The shame is that most Pakistanis know this is true, but they can’t stop the slide into the abyss.

  • teapartydoc

    England knew she would need the US as a trading partner after our Civil War. What future do we have in relationship to Pakistan, long term?

  • Illuminati

    As a matter of fact, Pakistani govt is a pathological liar. They have a long history & tendency, to say one thing & do another thing. It is high time US should understand this fact. They cannot have Pakistani Govt cutting off any network with terrorist as these terrorist bread on Pakistani money & resources. The same resources which US has given to Pak for fighting terror. I am really surprised at US which claims to be the only superpower, yet cannot think with its own mind. Billions of $’s given to Pak have never reached its people, but have gone to terrorist who are damaging interest of US. I am also surprised at US citizen that they don’t even question their government’s foolishness.

  • FirstAdvisor

    Firing weapons like drones across a country’s border to land and explode on the other side is an act of war. So, yes, the USA has created a state of war between it and Pakistan. The only way to end that war is for the US to sign a truce or peace treaty with Pakistan, paying full war reparations, and giving their oath to never committing acts of war against Pakistan again. And then, naturally, keeping their word, the part that always seems so difficult for Americans to do.

  • onparkstreet

    Rereading this thread, it occurs to me that some are confusing preIraq and ‘afpak’.

    No, no, no. The lesson is to disengage to a minimum point. Our money via State, USAID, the DOD and military contracts, and CIA liason relationship feed the dynamic.

    – Madhu

  • Stefan Stackhouse

    There is quite a bit of space between “walking away from a relationship” and war. Let’s not get overly inflamatory here.

    Personally, I think the US would be better off walking away from the entire Indian Ocean basin and surrounding countries.

  • Shahid Khan

    The United SNAKES of america have been back stabbing and using Pakistan for decades. They back stabbed Pakistan in the 1965 and 1971 war? with the hindus next door! Which resulted in Pakistan breaking into two.In 1979 they used then dictator (Gen Zia) and the ISI to bury the invaders the (russians) in afghanistan only to abandon the region as the cold war was now won. Then in 1999 under Bill Clinton the US again pressured Pakistan PM Nawaz Shariff and the Pak force into pulling out of all Indian check points and land that had been captured by the pro pakistani army in the 1999 kargil conflict. Then after 9/11 the US and it’s eveil killing machine the CIA blackwater etc etc have again bought there war to our region, forced, and demanded Pakistan’s cooperation or else.. And now have made Pakistan a open target. After Pakistan have lost 35.000 people to sucide bombings, 8.000 army personel killed in combat and more than 100.000 people miss placed from there homes in fata. Mr Mullen very easly says that Pak army are friends with the enemy (taliban) who is killing them and there country civilians. The truth is that America has lost its own (proxy) “war on terror” and need a scrapegoat for there own faliure! Let me point out that before 2004 there was not a single suicide attack in Pakistan’s history until the Red mosque seige which ended in bloodshed, thanks to american pressure.terrorist attacks also became a Pakistani culture when the CIA and other company’s such as blackwater and delta force was allowed to roam freely inside Pakistan. Before the cowboys come here and swing there guns around let me remind you of your secret agent the utter disgrace murderer (Raymond Davies) who murdered two Pakistanis in cold blood. like many Pakistanis I firmly belive america’s main agenda in sth asia is to capture Pakistan’s nukes and to split the rich Bolochistan province into independence. The greedy americans also have a dirty eye on Karachi and its sea port. The US feels if they capture this seaport it will lead them to access and control Afghanistan without Pakistan permission. Pakistan don’t need the United snakes of america when we have China and Iran so you can go get out of our region and leave us in peace! Pakistan should cut all ties with this ‘sweet enemy’ starting by stopping all 90% of the routes we have gave for there forces, then you americans will learn to put up or shut up! Get lost!

  • Faizan Abid

    @above: Quite right. I admit there were several problems in Pakistan in the past, but the increased magnitude of problems came after US decided to enter Pakistan and kill the terrorists that ironically were created by them in the past.

    It is the US that is responsible for all the terrorists on the Afghan-Pakistan Border. It supported the dictator Zia-Ul-Haq (an extremist himself who imposed the sharia laws in Pakistan) to further their own interests. It provided support and weapons to groups (which are now their enemies) which will forever be a curse on Pakistan.

    I have lost two of my relatives in suicide bombings and while I would really want Pakistan to get rid of extremists from the country, I just think the US is making it worse.

    Americans say Pakistanis are involved in killing American troops in Afghanistan; while I don’t know the truth about that, what about all the INNOCENT CIVILIANS that US Drones have killed in Pakistan in its (often failed) attempt to kill militants?

    How would Americans feel if a few terrorists were hiding in some part of a state and some country sends in drones and bombs the whole place killing innocent Americans?

    There are several things wrong with the US Government and on top of that list is, it’s approach on the War on Terror.

    I would like to emphasize though, that all my comments here are regarding the US Government. I have been to the US and most Americans are peaceful and fun loving people like me.

  • http://firesale.com Leo-FireSale

    Tell me one thing…If you knew everything that Every Muslim Country is a Terrorist and Danger for US..Start Nuke on all over World..Afterall you says you are the 1# Power..and all are yoru enemy..Iran , Iraq, Afghanistan…and so on 50 Total Countries Every Born baby is a Born Terrorist..No matter he born where ever.. and a US is a civilized Country..Evey Body there is Born Civilized..
    Stop Drones, just start Drones with Nukes in All over world..That Make you safe..Terror free…and Civilized..You even know meaning of civilized..??
    Respecting other privacy or Boundaries…Tell me one thing..If after few years a tsunami come in US..you may claim it is OBL fault..As he is in Sea Now…Right???
    Gov to Gov War may be On…they like Wars or Propaganda’s. But no Muslim or Person in Pakistan(as far I know) or In US (as far I know) wants any War or hate others..Not even Indians..That is Civilization..
    World Without War is possible with Understandings…
    War on Terror..Tell me What make War Stop? and What makes a war Begin??Fight…Well if one start then other reply..then 1st one reply then 2nd one reply..and so on and on..So you kill a terrorist..and makes his whole family to become a terrorist..A murderer Son will not get Good Public Response or Good friends will become a Thief or a Murderer..So Start sending Drones..killing 10 Terrorist and make 100 Terrorists..Anyone here tell me one thing..If I kill you..your son will and wants to kill me or my son..and will kill and war continue..So Sending Drones killing Terrorist is the Solution??We make Enemies and Friends by Our Actions..!!!Sending Drones to some ones country and killing innocent people(and claims they were terrorist).
    About Embassy Attack recently…and declaring that Paki gov is involved with terrorists and this attack..Is it same agency who was saying for last decade that OBL was in Afghanistan and now one day wake up and says oh no he was in Pakistan..After 10000’s Afghanis and US army in war was killed. Amazing..Now after 2 Years will say OBL is alive..The one we killed was a Clone..and OBL is in China…or May say he is in India? So how I can believe that Paki Gov is involved in attack..Is it Possible as you says Paki Gov wants your money and will Plan Attack on You? So stop it…not a Solid Story..
    How US people (many are my best friends) feel if someone hack some drone or get a drone attack in some village in US? Will it Right? and Claims or kill 2 terrorist? to kill 2 Terrorist, killing 100’s Innocent is fair? In my view Kill 2 Terrorist= Kill 100 Innocent Civilians = Making 1000 Terrorists..Same formula Applies in any Country you want..No matter You drone in India in name that we were killing Terrorist and killed 200 Terrorist but also death 2000 other villagers..No matter US army will do a Force Drone attack in Canada or in any of there own village(after all as you said Muslims are terrorist and Many live in US and India too)So will killing a US civilian makes his son a US Friend Lover or hater???
    I love World..Love People..Live is not too much BIG to keep Fighting..Stop Wars ..Start Living..To make in our lifetime “World without War”…!!

  • http://blog.imran.com Imran Anwar

    Great comments on an important topic. I appreciate the writer explaining how US switched between using, dumping, abusing, then reusing Pakistan for six decades, then being surprised Pakistan will not jump when US snaps its fingers!

    Not doing US bidding does not mean Pakistan is at war with America.

    If USA continues to strengthen India economically & militarily, while allowing it control in Afghanistan, ensures Pakistan will never again be an ally. No surprise there.

    Thank you.

    Imran Anwar
    IMRAN.TV

  • Asim Asif

    agreed with last four

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