November 5, 2014

Sanctuaries of Terror: Pakistan And Turkey Are Imperfect U.S. Allies In The War Against International Jihadist Terrorism

An excerpt from, "Pentagon Assessment: 'Pakistan Using Militants as Proxies to Counter India's Superior Military'" NDTV, November 4, 2014:
In a blunt assessment of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan, the Pentagon has told the US Congress that the country is using militant groups as proxies to counter the superior Indian military.

"Afghan-and Indian-focused militants continue to operate from Pakistan territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability. Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India's superior military," the Pentagon told the Congress in its latest six-monthly report on the current situation in Afghanistan.

"These relationships run counter to Pakistan's public commitment to support Afghan-led reconciliation. Such groups continue to act as the primary irritant in Afghan-Pakistan bilateral relations," the Pentagon said in the report running into more than 100 pages.
An excerpt from, "Turkey-Pakistan Security Relations since the 1950s" by Selcuk Colakoglu, Middle East Institute, November 25, 2013:
In the 1970s, Turkey and Pakistan provided both political and military support to one another. Ankara aided Pakistan diplomatically and militarily throughout the process of Bangladesh gaining its independence, and did not recognize Bangladesh until Pakistan did. Regarding the Cyprus issue, Pakistan gave Turkey its full support and provided it with military-logistic supplies. Then, both Pakistan and Turkey perceived the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, both in 1979, as inimical to their security interests. These shared security perspectives led to a reengagement with the United States and a U.S.-backed Turkey-Pakistan alliance. During the 1990s, Turkish-Pakistani relations weakened a bit due to the countries’ inability to build an economic partnership. Also, Ankara gave higher priority to the newly independent countries that emerged out of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union in the Balkans and in Eurasia, respectively. Pakistan mainly prioritized the stabilization of Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion.

Throughout the first decade of the 2000s, the challenge of maintaining stability in Afghanistan after the NATO intervention became the main element of bilateral relations between Turkey and Pakistan. NATO’s intervention in Afghanistan in 2001 shook Pakistan’s sensitive ethnic and religious structure at its core. Turkey strove to contribute to the domestic stability of Pakistan during this era, and took over official mediation efforts between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Turkey brought leaders from the two countries together to overcome their disagreements regarding the strategy to fight the Taliban, which had grown increasingly effective in its tactics after 2005. As a result, in April 2007 Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf issued the Ankara Declaration, which aimed to increase cooperation among the three countries. The declaration focused on strengthening bilateral relations, territorial integrity, and non-interference in one another’s domestic affairs.
The priority of Turkey-Pakistan cooperation in the coming years will be maintaining stability and security in post-2014 Afghanistan. In this respect, Ankara’s priority will be patching up bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan despite ongoing disputes in order to pave the way for cooperation. Turkey will also bolster initiatives aimed at the normalization of relations between Pakistan and India through handling bilateral disputes while avoiding confrontation.

However global dynamics evolve, it can be said confidently that security cooperation between the two countries will continue.
Video Title: Former Afghan Intelligence Chief Amruallah Saleh: Pakistan Behind Terrorism in Afghanistan. Source: MEMRI TV. Date Published: October 24, 2014. Description: 
Former head of the Afghan Directorate of Security Amruallah Saleh participated in a trilateral Afghan-Pakistani-Indian panel, hosted by the Afghan network TOLOnews TV. Saleh accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban and sponsoring terrorism in his country. 
"Imagine if Pakistan instead of training 30,000 insurgents, had trained 30,000 MBA holders in Afghanistan. What would the situation have been? Completely, completely different." - Amruallah Saleh.