We’ve written quite a bit about the Pakistani military and political establishment’s support of or indifference to the so-called “good Taliban,” or the Taliban and jihadist groups that do not wage jihad inside Pakistan yet enable those groups that do. In fact, our reporting on this subject is the primary reason that the Pakistani government has banned The Long War Journal inside its country.
Yesterday, Sartaj Aziz, the adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, spoke about this issue. The report on his talk, from Dawn, is republished below. Aziz is smart enough to not voice his support of the good Taliban — groups such as the Haqqani Network and the Hafiz Gul Bahadar Group, both of which wage jihad against the US in Afghanistan while sheltering and supporting al Qaeda and other international jihadist groups. Instead, Aziz makes the “it’s not our problem” argument:
Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz on Monday said that Pakistan should not target militants who do not threaten the country’s security.
“Why should America’s enemies unnecessarily become our enemies,” Sartaj Aziz said during an interview with BBC Urdu.
“When the United States attacked Afghanistan, all those that were trained and armed were pushed towards us.
“Some of them were dangerous for us and some are not. Why must we make enemies out of them all?,” he said when speaking about the Haqqani Network.
He further said that the Afghan Taliban are Afghanistan’s problem and Haqqani Network is a part of it.
“It’s the job of the Afghan government to negotiate with them…We can try to convince them, however things are not the same as they were in the nineties,” Aziz said.
For longtime readers of The Long War Journal, Aziz’s comments should come as no surprise. Since the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Pakistan has operated just as Aziz articulated yesterday.
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