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Indo-Pak rivalry would continue regardless of result of Afghan war: Cohen

Washington, Thu, 31 Dec 2009 ANI

Washington, Dec.31 (ANI): Pakistan has been supporting the on going 'war on terror' in Afghanistan from both sides as it has its own interests in the region, and it will also try to ensure that either the Afghan Taliban or some other groups remain influential in Afghanistan to protect Pakistan's interests, which primarily includes excluding India's growing influence in the region, experts believe.


Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Stephen Cohen, while describing the coming few years as very important for the region has pointed out that Pakistan would continue to shape the US' Afghan policy, and that the rivalry between India and Pakistan would persist regardless of the fact the Taliban win or lose the Afghan war.


"Islamabad could attempt to dominate Afghanistan through the Taliban, if we let it, or conversely, if the Taliban are comprehensively defeated, Pakistan will still be faced with India pressure on both of its borders, while attempting to quell a home-grown Islamist movement in at least two of its provinces," Cohen elaborated.


Cohen said that as the extremists hate both Pakistan and India equally, they would try their best to trigger a new war between the neighbours.


He cited that it would be very difficult for the leadership of both India and Pakistan to restart the peace initiative, given the massive trust deficit.


"Thus, wishful thinking about the success of a new "peace process" is exactly that - it will be very difficult for the leadership on both sides to simultaneously agree on any significant outstanding issues, and it will be very easy for the disrupters on both sides to ensure that any such agreement is blasted up by a new terrorist outrage," Cohen said. (ANI)


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