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What is Pak's ulterior motive in Afghanistan?

Last updated on: October 4, 2010 08:31 IST

What is Pak's ulterior motive in Afghanistan?

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Pakistan and its spy agency Inter Services Intelligence is supporting the United States' war in Afghanistan simply to ensure that Indians do not get strategic 'advantage' in the war-ravaged country, even as it continues to use the 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 Indians do not gain advantage through Afghanistan.'


Image: Police investigate a suicide blast site which killed the deputy governor of Afghanistan's Ghazni province
Photographs: Mustafa Andalib/Reuters
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'The Taliban are an extension of Pak's power'

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

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


Image: A paramilitary soldier holds an item that security forces say was stolen from NATO containers
Photographs: K. Parvez/Reuters
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'The book contained classified information'

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"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 nearly $47,000 for the destruction of the book to its publisher.

"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 Colonel Dave Lapan told reporters.


Image: A boy and his friends at the Nadir Khan hill in Kabul
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters
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'The price of failure will be another 9/11 attack'

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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.


Image: Newly graduated soldiers from the Afghan National Army attend a graduation ceremony in Kabul
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'There is a potential for huge damage'

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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 the death of thousands," the book warns.

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


Image: Afghan students study in a make-shift classroom
Photographs: Raheb Homavandi/Reuters
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