Afghanistan, Pakistan and USA are inextricably linked as far as their national security is concerned vis-a-vis the threat and plague of terrorism. Karzai's and Zardaari's visit had only one objective. To help President Obama sell to the US Congress and US Citizens why the US Administration is committing so many soldiers as well as resources in that far away part of the world. The latest funding proposals by the Obama Administration, making their way through Congress allocate more $ to Pakistan than to either Iraq or Afghanistan. President Obama's explanation on why is instructive and interesting and I quote "The United States has a stake in the future of these two countries .... we have learned time and again that our security is shared ... we meet today as three sovereign nations joined in a common goal ..... to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda and its extremist allies in Pakistan (he pronounces our country's name nearly perfectly -- the first for any US President) and Afghanistan and to prevent their ability to operate in either of these countries in the future". A more articulate expression of US interests I have not read and I as a US Citizen of Pakistani origin applaud this objective.
One thing that this summit hopefully achieved is to bring Pakistan and Afghanistan together. Both these countries have for many months now blamed each other for the terrorism and insurgent problems that they both share. This summit comes as a critical juncture for Pakistan. I worry that Pakistan is close to falling apart. Swathes of my beloved country have fallen into the hands of the Talebaan. I worry that the dozens of nuclear weapons will fall into the wrong hands. We are running out of time and we need to deploy all available human and financial resources in fighting this cancer. Military and civilian aid from USA will come in most handy at this time and we should milk this cow for all that it is worth.
My concern remains the competence and far sightedness of our politicians and whether our "jiyaalaas" in the Army have the stomach for a long, protracted and vicious fight with the Talebaan. Based on past experiences, this is a potent recipe for failure and disaster. Zardari is a playboy whose corruption has earned him the nickname os Mr. 10 percent. The last time we had a playboy in power i.e. Yahya Khan, we lost half the country. His principal rival, Nawaz Sharif is more religious right wing than secular in his outlook and is stupid to boot. He could easily (as he has done in the past) miscalculate and believe that he could take his chances by sharing power with the Talebaan. He may therefore offer less than 100 % support to the current fight to eradicate them. And then finally, we have the army, infiltrated to the core (a Zia legacy) with Islamic fundamentalists. I would not be surprised if one of the corps commanders were to launch a coup and then invite the Talebaan in. We have a hurricane flowing in and our house might indeed be a pack of cards.