His name is Qari Saifullah Akhtar, and he has openly boasted of his contempt for the United States and admiration for the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Akhatar, previously was held for questioning in assassination attempts on Benazir Bhutto and former President Musharraf, but he is now a free man having been asked to depart from his jail cell. Akhtar allegedly ran terrorist camps to train Taliban warriors, and most experts believe his ties with Al-Qaeda are close and his determination to sabotage peace efforts in Afghanistan are well known. A few days after Governor Taseer of Punjab was killed by one of his “security guards,” a known militant has been given a get-out-of-jail card. The leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Saeed, who most probably helped plan the attack on Mumbai is now a free man. President Obama constantly insists we have the stay the course in Afghanistan even though as long as Pakistan militants roam free there is scant probability of any sort of “victory” in that country.
The bottom line is American foreign policy is based on the assumption Pakistan can play a vital role in peace efforts although the evidence is overwhelming Pakistan is part of the problem, not the solution. Either the US secures cooperation with Pakistan or we discover some other approach to secure peace in the region. Frankly, we are stuck in Pakistan just as we are stuck in Afghanistan.