Guest Column | Radhavinod Raju

Downward Spiral
Chicago Conference once again puts focus on Pakistan for Afghanistan resolution
By Radhavinod Raju

The stand-off between the United States and Pakistan, which began in late November 2011, with the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers by an airborne NATO attack in Salala on the border with Afghanistan, and resulted in the closure of the NATO supply lines and the Shamsi airbase from where some of the Drone attacks used to be mounted, had threatened to spoil US attempts to peacefully wind down their operations in Afghanistan. Many in the Pakistani establishment believ-
ed that the closure of the NATO supply lines would bring the Americans on their knees. Pakistan demanded an apology from the Americans for the unprovoked NATO attacks. For the Americans, who had sunk billions of dollars in a mostly unproductive exercise to influence the Pakistan Army to use its influence with the Taliban to bring them round for talks and negotiations, and to go after the Haqqani network which was inflicting unacceptable damage on American lives in Afghanistan, it was time to call Kayani’s bluff. But the spiralling down of relations had started much earlier, in the beginning of 2011 itself.
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