President Hamid Karzai of Pakistan warned Pakistan his nation was tired of having Taliban militants cross over the border and attack his country. He stated bluntly of his intention to send troops, if necessary, into Pakistan in pursuit of Taliban forces. His statements came days after a Taliban raid freed over 800 militants from an Afghan prison and a week after the United States air strike on the Pakistan border resulted in the death of 11 Pakistan soldiers. Karzai complained that “even if Pakistan puts its entire army along the border,” it cannot control incursions from its territory. He used the right of self defense to argue Afghanistan could send its army across the border in order to defeat the Taliban. Prime Minister Gilani of Pakistan made clear his nation would not allow foreign troops to enter their territory and urged the Afghan leader to calm down and speak rationally. “Such kind of statements will not be taken well by the people of both countries.”
A question many experts are asking is — did the United States encourage Karzai to make such statements? There is no way an Afghan army could win over militants in mountainous regions of Pakistan’s northwest territory. The risk of such provocative statements is encouraging those within Pakistan that would like to reduce dependancy on the United States and handle militants through a process of negotiation. Karzai’s bellicose remarks raise the issue as to whether anyone is really in charge of formulating policy in Afghanistan.