There appears to be growing divergence between the United States and Great Britain regarding the foreign policy of Pakistan in handling Taliban militants in northwest regions of the nation. During the past few weeks, Pakistan has been engaged in discussions with Taliban leaders over ways to end violence. A jirga consisting of elders has brought together government and Taliban representatives to hammer out a cease fire. British Defence Minister Des Browne welcomed these efforts to end violence in the country insisting any agreement to achieve peace would prove fruitful. However, Tom Casey, speaking for the US State Department complained “we have seen similar kinds of agreements reached in the past that have not been successful.” The State Department fears any agreement with Taliban militants will eventually undermine the security of Pakistan.
Even as Pakistan leaders are negotiating with the Taliban, the government still must decide on a policy of what to do about America’s favorite friend, President Musharraf. Nawaz Sharif, of the PML-N made clear his party’s determination to “give a safe exit to the man(Musharraf) and hinted there should be criminal prosecution of the president.