WASHINGTON: on Thursday, President Obama is expected to meet the Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef with regards to the Taliban, nuclear safety and a range of other fraught issues when the two troubled allies are to meet at the White House.
Long standing security concerns are likely to dominate the Oval Office Discussion, despite the efforts to smooth divisions behind the smiles, shake hands and the items of agreements.
Washington will see the monumental security headaches such as the Islamabad ties with the Afghan Taliban, support for the terror groups that target the United States and the India and its rapidly growing nuclear arsenals.
The relation of both countries are the prickly one, pollinated by the mutual mistrust and born of a fraught inter dependency.
When 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden was discovered to be living in Pakistan, the relationship was plunged into the deep crisis.
Officials point to little change in the attitude of Pakistan’s powerful security services, since then Prime minister’s office and brought an effort to find areas of cooperation.
Michael Kugelman of the Woodrow Wilson Center said that, “The bottom line is that there are a lot of deep disagreements between these two countries.”
“The US has simply lost patience after so many years of providing arms and money to the Pakistani military, the Pakistanis has simply not done what the US has repeatedly asked them to do in terms of cracking down on militants.”
“The new Taliban leader Akhtar Mansoor has close ties to Pakistan,” experts say.
Whereas Kabul has, “accused Islamabad of harboring and nurturing Taliban insurgents — allowing them to launch attacks in Afghanistan before melting back across the border.”
“I will continue to urge all parties in the region to press the Taliban to return to peace talks and to do their part in pursuit of the peace that Afghans deserve,” said Obama recently previewed his meeting with the Pakistani premier.
“If cooperation is not forthcoming, it is likely to result in growing calls for Washington to limit the transfer of weapons and funds to Islamabad.”
Washington has also said that, “Pakistan to crack down on radical groups like the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba.”
Whereas recently interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told a news briefing that, “In the last 10 days, our prime focus has remained on ways to expose Indian state actors’ involvement in Pakistan’s affairs. A [recently] modified policy paper is under consideration. [After the United Nations] we are now going to put this case before Washington.”
He added that, “The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)’s involvement, its blatant interference in our affairs, Afghan peace process and Operation Zarb-e-Azb— all will come under discussion in the US.”
He added that, “A few banned groups could be in contact with IS, but the group is still largely based in the Middle East.”