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'Pak cautions US about consequences of anti-Taliban offensive'

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

is believed to have told US interlocutors that a major military offensive against the from both sides of the border, if failed, will have negative consequences for the entire region, according to a media report today.

The key element in the new US strategy for is to launch a two-pronged military offensive that inflicts a military defeat on the and forces them to join the reconciliation process on Kabul's conditions, diplomatic sources told Dawn

The paper in a detailed report from reported that Pakistanis do not disagree with the basic thrust of the American argument but they have one major worry: What if it fails?

Trump in August unveiled his South policy and vowed to boost strategic partnership with in He had called for tougher measures against if it fails to cooperate with the US in its fight against

Pakistani officials, who have interacted with US officials on this issue, say that they too have the same ambition: ridding the region, particularly Afghanistan, of militants.

US at his weekend briefing at the urged to cooperate with the US in defeating the Taliban, including the Haqqani Network which, he says, has safe havens inside and uses them to recuperate and re-launch attacks into

While Pakistanis reject the US charge that they have allowed the Haqqani Network to maintain safe havens, they appear more eager to understand the US plan to defeat the

But they fear that a major military offensive, without engaging some Taliban factions in direct talks first, could be counter-productive. The Taliban might outlive this offensive too, and deal with it "lying low in their mountain fastness, as they did with previous offensives," as one interlocutor said.

And in the process Pakistan will lose whatever influence it has. With all lines of communication closed, the Taliban will become even more dangerous, particularly for Pakistan, which has always faced the blowback of previous adventures in Afghanistan, whether launched by the Russians or Americans, the report said.

The Pakistani officials their interlocutors that the country is still coping with the consequences of Britain's Afghan adventures. Those adventures led to the creation of FATA, a buffer zone between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which later became the source of many troubles.

The Trump administration, however, does not seem much interested in the Pakistani argument, at least for now. But it would if the Taliban outlive the proposed offensive as well, the report said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 08 2018. 13:35 IST