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Even now one of those camps hosts Mullah Fazlullah, the terrorist who ordered the attack on Malala

Yousafzai. Fazlullah and his gang were successfully flushed out by the Pakistani military from wat but he ironically found a place to hide in !merican" controlled !fghanistan. #f the $#! really wanted to do us a favour, it could start with the %%P terror camps in !fghanistan. &ut it didn't. #nstead, when the %%P showed willingness to talk about ending terrorism, the $#! intervened and hit the group citing a list of (ustifications. %he agency is trying hard to underplay the timing but there is no way to walk around the fact that the %%P chief was taken out precisely because the terror group showed willingness to take the first step toward possible peace in Pakistan. Even )amid *arzai has said as much. +ashington realises this fact, which is why the official media spinners in ,$ have gone on the defensive, launching a campaign to (ustify the )akeemullah assassination. !merican officials have even cited the attempted amateur car bombing in -ew York $ity in ./0/ as a reason for the assassination, even though the evidence in that case is tenuous at best. %his is not about defending the %%P or its terrorist chief )akeemullah. %his is about Pakistan's right to e1tricate itself from the 2 ' messy and failed war in !fghanistan. %he 2 needs to reign in the $#! and coordinate actions with Pakistan. !merican policy in !fghanistan cannot succeed without taking Pakistani concerns and interests along. %alking to the disparate and odd groups that we collectively call the %%P is an integral part of the process to stabilise our western border. %o end the %%P, we need to engage with those misguided Pakistanis who (oined the group in the belief that killing Pakistanis would somehow help end the foreign occupation of !fghanistan. #f the engagement is successful, it would help isolate the core group of terrorists within %%P who receive weapons and funding from actors in !fghanistan as part of a regional pro1y war. %he %%P militants are no angels, but it is important to neutralise misguided Pakistanis before taking on the core group that wants to go down fighting. %his is why engaging willing groups within the %%P in peace talks is a good option. +hy is the $#! trying to disturb this option and dictate policy3 Pakistan should put on the table a credible threat of blocking -ato transit routes and action against $#! drones if +ashington tries to obstruct our efforts to end the civil war on our western border. #t is unfortunate that an influential group of commentators is out to confuse the Pakistani public opinion on talks with the %%P. %his group is unconditionally defending !merican policy.

!nother thing we need to point out to 2 officials is the danger of allowing the $#! to once again lead the !merican policy on Pakistan. 4ne of the best things Pakistan can do to neutralise willing groups within the %%P and isolate the hardcore elements is to declare neutrality in !fghanistan and announce that it won't take part in military operations to fight against !fghan groups. President 4bama should make it clear to the $#! that it cannot dictate policy options to Pakistan or act on matters that concern us without our consent. $#!'s present and former officials love to shift the blame on to Pakistan for the !fghan defeat and portray #slamabad as the architect of that defeat.0. +e can declare neutrality while still supporting the peace process in !fghanistan. %his will destroy one of the main e1cuses the %%P uses to recruit gullible Pakistanis. Email5 a67pro(ectpakistan. %he assassination of the %%P chief when he was about to engage in dialogue with the Pakistani government amounts to an attempt by the $#! to hi(ack our internal policy options and force the 2 government to take a stand on an internal Pakistani matter. including the !fghan . %he $#! bears substantial responsibility for !merica's military defeat in !fghanistan and for worsening Pakistan"2 ties.