You are here: Home » Economy & Policy » News
Business Standard

Pak supporting US war in Afghan to keep India out: expert

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Pakistan and its spy agency ISI is supporting the US war in Afghanistan simply to ensure that Indians do not get strategic "advantage" in the war- ravaged country, even as it continues to use Taliban as an "active extension of its national power", an expert has said.

Anthony Shaffer, the controversial writer of the book "Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan - and the Path to Victory" said what Pakistan is doing in Afghanistan is in accordance to 'their perception of security, and their need to ensure that the Indians do not gain advantage through Afghanistan.'

Shaffer whose controversial book's 9,500 copies were pulped and sent to recycle last week after the US found it contained classifies information, said in the book that "The Taliban have been used as an active extension of their (Pakisatan's) national power.

We must accept the Pakistani perception of their self interest and security as being focused on its regional nuclear competitor, India, and work from there."

"The primary focus of the US diplomatic effort must be to reduce tension between Pakistan and India."

There are ways that the United States can participate and ensure regional stability by direct engagement and real reforms that would allow for a lowering of tensions between India and Pakistan, he said.

"America must create incentives for the Pakistani government (and the ISI and army) to stop its support of the Taliban," the author says.

The US Department of Defense found that the book had classified material. The Pentagon paid about $47,000 for the destruction of the book to its published.

"There were approximately 9,500 copies of the book. It contained classified information that the Department (of Defense) entered into an agreement with the publisher to destroy (the book)," Pentagon spokesman, Col Dave Lapan told reporters.

"The publisher conducted that destruction a week ago on Monday the 20th with the DoD observers there witnessing and those copies of the book were pulped and sent to recycle," he said.

The new version of the book, which has been blacked out at several places as per the direction of the Pentagon says that the consequences of America's failure in Afghanistan and throughout the region would be massive.

"The degree of consequences will vary, but ultimately, the price of failure will be another 9/11 attack or series of attacks that will dwarf the original in destructive effect and loss of life by orders of magnitude," the book says.

Noting that security measure around the Pakistani nuclear arsenal would continue to degrade, the book says that eventually, one or more of the country's nuclear weapons would be obtained by one of the radical elements.

"This weapon would be moved, via a network of conspirators, out of Pakistan and to one of a dozen potential targets.

Yes, there would be massive efforts to find and contain these weapons, but if even one makes it to a western target, there is a potential for huge property damage and thousands killed," the book warned.

Resolving Indo-Pak dispute is "the key" to regional stability in South Asia, the book said.

First Published: Tue, September 28 2010. 16:23 IST