A central issue in the so-called “war against terrorism” in southeast Asia is a wide difference of opinion between Pakistan military leaders and the American government. To Americans, the need is to focus on destroying Taliban and al-Qaeda forces which are congregated inside Afghanistan or on border regions with Pakistan. To Pakistan military leaders, the real battle is towards the east and the threat of India. Pakistan military leaders refuse to open new campaigns against the Taliban on ground their forces are stretched too thin and simply can not deal with another offensive. General Syed Azmat told the media the Pakistan army must concentrate the vast majority of its forces on the eastern front to deal with any potential invasion from India.
He comments also reflected irritation on the part of Pakistan officers over what they allege is lack of respect for their efforts at fighting the Taliban. “We’re tired of this mistrust and this questioning of our commitment and our sincerity.” According to terrorism expert, Brian Williams, “the Pakistanis don’t see th Afghan Taliban and allied Haqqani network as a clear and present danger.”
Step one in any war against terrorism in southeast Asia is working with India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir crisis and end mutual fears of invasion.