Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?

Pakistanis have been suggesting that the US should talk to the Taliban, otherwise the US strategy will fail, and Mr. Obama seems to agree. The Defense Secrataty, Mr. Gates, believes that you cannot say that one Taliban is good, and the other not good, but agrees with his boss that there is a need to talk to some Taliban commanders.

Pakistan has nurtured the Afghan Taliban since its inception, and in fact the Pakistani military’s secret service, the ISI, created it and helped it take over Afghanistan as a ‘strategic depth’ against India. Although tables turned after 9/11, the Government of Pakistan admits it is reaching out to them at all levels. It is the Pakistani Taliban that Pakistanis want to root out, because they are causing mayhem within their borders; they are the ‘bad’ Taliban, according to them.

I think talking to any Taliban would be a bad idea, and would only foster more terrorism. On the other hand, the US should encourage other countries in the region, like India – which has sunk $1.2 billion so far, to continue to assist in building Afghani infrastructure. After all, Afghanistan needs all the help it can get, especially now that we know that it has over $1 trillion worth of untapped natural reserves.


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