The Guidelines for Revised Terms of Engagement with USA/NATO/ISAF states that the “U.S. footprint in Pakistan must be reviewed,” and demanded “an immediate cessation of drone attacks inside the territorial borders of Pakistan,” an immediate stop to all military incursions into Pakistani territory for any reason, and a prohibition on using Pakistani territory or airspace to supply NATO troops in Afghanistan.
The decade-long war in Afghanistan has terribly destabilized Pakistan and the Obama administration’s drone program – the institutionalization of extra-judicial execution and mass murder of innocent men, women, and children – has caused immense suffering and resentment. The parliament’s declaration is therefore unsurprising.
The statement comes as Washington struggles desperately to negotiate an end to the useless war in Afghanistan. But Pakistan’s interests in Afghanistan have run counter to Washington’s since the beginning of the war. With the inevitable U.S. defeat and the impending withdrawal of combat troops in 2014, Pakistan can be expected to support Taliban sway in Afghanistan to counter the influence of its archenemy, India.
Pakistan’s new stay-out-of-our-affairs declaration is frankly a long time coming. And the political entanglements of the region are an indication of how remote Afghanistan and Pakistan are to U.S. interests and what a massive waste the last decade of murderous and misguided engagement in the area has been.
The comments are the latest in a series of mostly negative signals from the US about the Istanbul talks, and the only indication that the talks are anything but an excuse for more sanctions is oneunconfirmed report that Obama sent a secret message to Iran by way of Turkeyhinting at an openness to “compromise” and allow Iran to retain some portions of its civilian nuclear program.
The underground Fordow is probably the least convenient facility for Israel to attack, and its closure has been repeatedly demanded by the West. Iran has noted that the only reason it built Fordow in such a position is because Israel is constantly threatening to attack.