Bordering Afghanistan-Pakistan must reach own accord
Surely the USA is the elephant in the room, but in the end, Afghanistan and Pakistan governments need to address their security together. Tribal leaders in both countries prefer a high degree of autonomous local rule (like some states in the USA) and want respect. When they get it, they might stand down, including giving up other outsiders, i.e. al Qaeda, hiding among them.
USA tolerance for reaching a new equilibrium is key to bringing American troops home, IMO.
“Pakistan, Afghanistan begin talks about dealing with insurgents
By Karin Brulliard and Karen DeYoung
Saturday, June 19, 2010
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN – Afghanistan and Pakistan are talking about how to make peace with insurgents fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan, including one faction considered the coalition forces' most lethal foe, according to Pakistani and U.S. officials.
The discussions reflect the beginnings of a thaw in relations between Kabul and Islamabad, which are increasingly focused on shaping the aftermath of what they fear could be a more abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops than is now anticipated. But one element of the effort -- outreach by Pakistan to the militia headed by the young commander Sirajuddin Haqqani -- faces opposition from U.S. officials, who consider the al-Qaeda-linked group too brutal to be tolerated.
At Pakistan's suggestion, Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the chief of Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency, made an unprecedented trip last month to Kabul to discuss with Afghan President Hamid Karzai a wide range of possible cooperation, including mediating with Pakistan-based insurgents.
Several weeks ago, Pasha and Pakistan's army chief of staff, Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani, returned to continue the discussion. There is no agreement between the two nations, but a Pakistani security official said the outreach to insurgents is "not a problem."
The previously undisclosed visits came as the United States, gradually warming to the idea of reconciliation with insurgents, encourages improved relations between the two governments, which have long viewed each other with suspicion. But Obama administration officials have cautioned Afghanistan and Pakistan that they will not support talks with Haqqani's militia.
"We think reconciliation has to have an Afghan face," a senior administration official said in Washington, adding that the United States "understands" the desire to talk. But the United States has made clear, the official said, that "we expect to be treated as full partners and not to be surprised." The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of discussing frictions with allies.”