The Express Tribune, 20 June 2013
This long article by the Pakistani newspaper offers Islamabad’s take of the opening of the Taleban office in Qatar. According to its many (unnamed) diplomatic sources “the real breakthrough in these negotiations came through personal diplomacy between John Kerry and Pakistan’s Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.” It thus attributes the Qatar ‘success’ to the Americans having turned to Pakistan for help in desperation: “This ‘deep engagement’ is trilateral and would not have come about without Washington getting exhausted with its stand-alone efforts to cultivate the Taliban minus Islamabad.” The celebrative tone could also be directed at the new Pakistani government, given the author’s history of opposition to the previous one. But it is remarkable the extent to which the Pakistani establishment is willing to recognize and praise a previously unreported involvement of its military in secret diplomacy and their ability at manipulating the Taleban, and to take direct shots at Karzai, accused of having tried his best to “create an impression that he and not Islamabad holds the key to the Afghan endgame”.
This article was last updated on 9 Mar 2020