Islamabad gains clout with Afghan surge

Islamabad gains clout with Afghan surge
# 13 July 2010 03:10 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Islamabad sees war fatigue in Afghanistan, the longest U.S. military campaign in its history, as a sign it may be called on for more help, analysts said, APA reports quoting web-page.
Nearly nine years after the initial invasion, Washington revised its war strategy in Afghanistan with the aim of defeating al-Qaida, supporting a central government in Kabul and establishing a self-reliant Afghan military by the time U.S. forces start leaving the country next summer.
Pakistani officials said Islamabad may emerge as the new foundation for a political settlement in Kabul as the revised war strategy evolves, Emirati newspaper The National reports.
Islamabad could use its influence over militant groups, meanwhile, to help reconciliation plans outlined by Kabul in May, the newspaper adds.
The concerns come as U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, Washington’s new commander in Afghanistan, arrives in Afghanistan to assess the strategic situation.
Petraeus took over from retiring U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who resigned in the wake of a controversial profile in Rolling Stone magazine.
Imtiaz Gul, chairman of Islamabad’s Center for Research and Security Studies, tells the newspaper the evolving Afghan conflict puts Islamabad at the center of the war once again.
"For Pakistan, history has moved full circle," he said. "For the third time in as many decades, Pakistan is likely to be used to provide a face-saver for the U.S. in Afghanistan."