'Pakistan should choose between US and Taliban'

Published: October 4, 2011
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Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said that Pakistan was not acting like an ally in the war on terror. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said that Pakistan was not acting like an ally in the war on terror. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

BOSTON: Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Monday said that Pakistan was not acting like an ally in the war on terror.

The former governor of neighboring Massachusetts was peppered with questions on immigration, the war in Afghanistan, relations with Pakistan and gun control by a mostly supportive crowd of about 300 at a town hall meeting in Salem, New Hampshire.

Pakistan, Romney said, “is not acting like an ally,” and should decide if it wants to support the United States or the Taliban; choosing the Taliban would have “significant consequences.”

His statements came after growing tension between the two countries in the wake of US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen’s allegation that Pakistan maintains ties with militants.

On September 22, Mullen bluntly said he believes the Haqqani network acts as a “veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency”. He went on to say that the Pakistani government, army and intelligence agency jeopardize the Pak-US partnership in the war on terror by “choosing to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy”.

Pakistan has condemned these allegations, maintaining that it is committed to fighting the war on terror as it has been the greatest victim of militancy.

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Reader Comments (55)

  • John B
    Oct 4, 2011 - 11:46AM

    PAK should pray that Obama wins the reelection.

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  • Gautam
    Oct 4, 2011 - 11:51AM

    Think Pakistani leadership think.. these are testing times..

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  • Asim+Ali
    Oct 4, 2011 - 11:59AM

    The kakul graduates need to get into their heads, that we are living in the 21st century. This is the age of economics, finance, technology and cyber connectivity. Wealth of nations is defined by institutions and applications like facebook and twitter. Gone are the days of swords, sabres and F 16s. The 201 Generals of this country need to get the right people elected for the right jobs. We need to rebuild this nation by rebuilding our railways, our airlines, our dysfunctional state institutions. And we do not need either Chinese or Saudi help in this regard. This country has plenty of gifted business leaders, engineers, economists, finance professionals, doctors, lawyers, artists, artisans, writers, and other thought leaders who can steer this country of the crises it is in. Please do no think the criteria for leadership is a kakul training

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  • Mahmood
    Oct 4, 2011 - 12:24PM

    What about the US owning up to having helped create the Taliban?

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  • 3footninja
    Oct 4, 2011 - 12:34PM

    … and you need to chose between WAR and PEACE. With a track record of more losses than victories, i would suggest that you chose the latter.

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  • Pundit
    Oct 4, 2011 - 12:53PM

    Mullen Leaks better than WikiLeaks

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  • hina
    Oct 4, 2011 - 12:54PM

    The US has one line policy: if you do not support the US, that would mean you are against US. Foreign policy made easy, at least for the students studying International relations in American universities!!!

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  • Salman
    Oct 4, 2011 - 1:03PM

    Don’t bother about it.. Which ever came. It is bound to happen as we have been saying this before they enter in Afghanistan. Pakistan was the Prime Target not Al Qaeda or Taliban. We have listen these lies about so many nations but History proved them wrong.

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  • Salman
    Oct 4, 2011 - 1:06PM

    @Asim+Ali:
    Why only Kakul Graduates??? Why not Pentagon.. have to think like that?

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  • KB
    Oct 4, 2011 - 1:12PM

    @John B,
    It doesn’t matter who wins – the policy and political statements are two different things whilst the former doesn’t change overnight

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  • Syed Imran
    Oct 4, 2011 - 1:44PM

    And the united states should select between the ground realities and its selfish desires.

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  • Antanu
    Oct 4, 2011 - 1:47PM

    They should chose taliban. Atleast they dont stab in the back like US.

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  • omg!
    Oct 4, 2011 - 1:52PM

    why we are suffering?Recommend

  • Waqar Ahmed
    Oct 4, 2011 - 1:58PM

    A few days ago, Mitt Romney said “Corporations are people too”.

    Its better that Obama wins over him. This guy is gonna make the conditions worse for the whole world

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  • Noor
    Oct 4, 2011 - 2:37PM

    @Pakistan, Romney said, “is not acting like an ally,”

    Has US ever acted like an ally?

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  • Gautam
    Oct 4, 2011 - 2:41PM

    @Antanu:
    Yes of course Taliban are blowing up people straight away from left right top to bottom..

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  • Asim Malik
    Oct 4, 2011 - 2:41PM

    Taliban,
    Leave Pakistan state Americans.

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  • Mysterious
    Oct 4, 2011 - 3:11PM

    What was US doing when they were negotiating with Taliban
    Why they don’t blacklist “Haqqani Network”
    US understand that they have lost the Afghan War in all fields

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  • Oct 4, 2011 - 3:14PM

    First US should choose between India and Pakistan.

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  • Oct 4, 2011 - 3:15PM

    Shouldn’t he have said Afghanistan instead of US?

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  • malik
    Oct 4, 2011 - 3:43PM

    USA should choose between Pakistan and India. If US prefers the friendship of India to Pakistan, then they will alienate the people of Pakistan completely. The entire 180 million of Pakistanis will start hating US more virulently.

    Now choose wisely or you will regret later……You know what an angry, radicalized Pakistani can do to you !!

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  • G. Din
    Oct 4, 2011 - 4:59PM

    @Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad:
    “First US should choose between India and Pakistan.”
    They have already. Didn’t you notice, Rip Van Winkle!

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  • Ahmad
    Oct 4, 2011 - 5:04PM

    A radicalized Pakistani? I don’t remember a historical Punjabi hero of any sorts. I remember a whole lot of blow hards and lying con artists though. What an angry Pakistani could do to the United States? You depend on the courage of occupied Pashtoons. I think you should remember why Musharef did when Bush gave him an ultimatum. You know, big talking Musharef in London avoiding usual corruption allegations emanating from Pakistan. Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad
    Oct 4, 2011 - 5:23PM

    We have chosen both.. In daytime we are with you and at night with Taliban.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Oct 4, 2011 - 5:31PM

    @ John B,
    Dont wary about pakistan you should care about Goa and Madras.
    and politics is dirty bussnis where ever it is in the world america or pakistan or india
    when they outside the office they talk diff than when they in.

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  • AnisAqeel
    Oct 4, 2011 - 6:08PM

    @malik:
    Mr. Malik, read the lines carefully. USA has already chosen India and a ‘chaudhry’ or ‘vadera’ cannot be a friend but a master of its ‘kamee’. It is already late but may be we can still save some of our pride if our compulsive intriguing generals come to senses for the sake of our beloved Pakistan. Another Bangladesh is in the making and our people are so ignorant that they consider their bankrupt power as superior to any in the world.

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  • Amjad
    Oct 4, 2011 - 6:28PM

    I think the West needs to keep in mind who the Taleban are and who created them and then who left them after their purpose was served. Pakistan must look after itself after the West created the present groups that form the Taleban to fight the Soviets and used Pakistan as a base. Then all these militants were left behind in Pakistan and the West moved on. We alone have had to deal with these extremists after we sacrificed so much to defeat the Soviets. After the West leaves again, we will have to clean up the mess with whatever little resources we have. This is the challenge and I hope the Pak leadership doesn’t get drawn into more fights that will only cause more misery for common Pakistanis. Afghanistan will always be an unstable nation with violence. We need to seal our border with Afghanistan and let them take care of themselves.

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  • Was a Pakistani
    Oct 4, 2011 - 6:31PM

    They have chosen Taliban. Cut their aid man the whole functionary will kneel and beg. Nation which can resort to violence on lack of electricity is not mentally ready to live without electricity. You block aid and loan flows the country would straighten out in hours. This romance ith Taliban will fizzle in seconds

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  • Amjad
    Oct 4, 2011 - 6:31PM

    @Ahmad: I don’t know what bringing in ethnicity has to do with this debate. Yes Pashtuns are suffering as are all Pakistanis. Whether Musharraf was an Urdu speaking dictator or Punjabis are less affected by violence or whatever, the nation needs to do what is in its best interest and move forward. As allies, the US needs to understand Pakistan’s legitimate concerns and work as true partners to stabiliize the region.

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  • Waqas
    Oct 4, 2011 - 6:32PM

    @Asim+Ali:
    Please dont blame army for every ill in this country.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Oct 4, 2011 - 6:35PM

    Mr Republican pakistan choose taliban allready did not u know so what now…

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  • observer
    Oct 4, 2011 - 6:45PM

    @Malik

    USA should choose between Pakistan and India. If US prefers the friendship of India to Pakistan, then they will alienate the people of Pakistan completely.

    Does this apply to China as well. Remember the Chinese have a 70 billion dollar trade with India as compared to just 8 billion with Pakistan.

    Further if memory serves me right the US sent the 7th fleet in 1971 and also protected Pakistan against Russian expansion, while China was sitting pretty.

    Gratitude anyone?

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  • Ikramuddin Akbar
    Oct 4, 2011 - 6:54PM

    If they are not acting according to your “direction” then why don’t you hire some other deft actor.Cancel the contract!You needed a best “performance”.How many retake can you afford?

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  • Rao
    Oct 4, 2011 - 6:55PM

    @Ch Allah Daad

    apt comment!

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  • Fahad Raza
    Oct 4, 2011 - 8:29PM

    I’d say make friends in the neighborhood than 5000 miles away.

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  • Star
    Oct 4, 2011 - 8:34PM

    @Ali Tanoli…. You should be more worried about Swat… At least the whole World visits and loves Goa… On the other hand most of your tourist destinations are now Terrorist Nests…

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  • John B
    Oct 4, 2011 - 9:21PM

    @KB:
    Statements and perceptions become policy and policy becomes action. Any statement uttered by any politician, including Mr. Malik of PAK carries weight in the policy decision.

    Eg: “radicalized” madrassa students. If only they were only statements we wouldn’t be in this mess.

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  • WhatsInAName
    Oct 4, 2011 - 11:53PM

    Who are you to tell us what we have to choose from. We know very well what to do.

    Let me give you something to choose from. Where would the US empire would want to be buried? Afghanistan or Pakistan?

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  • M
    Oct 4, 2011 - 11:58PM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    What exactly is the issue that we need to worried about with regards to Goa & Madras? Let me guess. In your delusional mind you are thinking that Goa & Madras have a raging secessionist movement going on, right?

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  • M
    Oct 5, 2011 - 12:03AM

    @Mahmood:
    What difference does it make if USA did create Taliban? The question you need to ask is why did your country support USA in its endeavor for a few measly dollars? The dollars did not do one bit of good for the people of your country but curse of Taliban continues to destroy your country & there is nothing anyone can do about it.

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  • Aftb Kenneth Wilson
    Oct 5, 2011 - 12:29AM

    One wonders why our decision makers are least bothered about Pakistan the way they bother about others. Don’t we have problems of our own which needs full attention???? For how long we will remain as suspects …. haunted ……hunted. This is 21st century. The time of horses and swords are gone with the wind. Now the main weapon is ECONOMICS and not Talibanism.

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  • Grace
    Oct 5, 2011 - 12:41AM

    Perhaps Mitt Romney can help Pakistan build a big wall on the border with Afghanistan so we don;t have to deal with criminals and terrorists coming from Afghanistan. I hope that when elected Romney will have time to read about Pakistan’s role in defeating the Soviets in Afghanistan and how the West brought all these Taleban type peoples into the game to defeat the Soviets and forgot about them after the Soviets were removed.

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  • ayesha
    Oct 5, 2011 - 12:48AM

    @malik:
    “USA should choose between Pakistan and India. If US prefers the friendship of India to Pakistan, then they will alienate the people of Pakistan completely. The entire 180 million of Pakistanis will start hating US more virulently”.

    Not sure you have been reading newspapers the last few years. US has already chosen to have India as a strategic partner and Pakistan to have a transaction relationship (basically it pays for kiraye ke soldiers and the transit route).

    IF Pakistan has 180 million people, India has 1.2 billion, so your blackmail does not really work.

    Finally, what about your all weather friend China? IT has $65 billion trade with India ($8 billion with Pakistan). Granted Indian population is 6.5 times that of PAkistan but the actual trade is around 8 times i.e. per capita trade with India is higher than China. Are you going to break off relations with China as well?

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  • Sad but true
    Oct 5, 2011 - 1:15AM

    @WhatsInAName: Are these your views or that of your puppet Govt of USA?

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  • Tariq Shah
    Oct 5, 2011 - 2:26AM

    EFF OFF Romney, you have no idea what Pakistan is facing, with Indian agents and Afghan agents making trouble all along the Pak Ind border, Kashmir and Afghan border, this is a 4500 long highly treacherous terrain and people, Pakistan is a small country stuck in the middle, if the US stops its help to Pakistan, then it only has itself to blame as Pakistan will break under the Taliban, Al Qaeda, power shortage, India/Afghan nexus strain and what India and the US get will be well deserved, a failing Pakistan will make Iraq look like a pleasant stroll in a pleasant park, as 180 million people fall upon India as refugees and civil war breaks out as well as LOC war with India using Nukes…..As a Pakistani, I have stopped caring what lectures the US gives, whether India believes us or not, and the Afghani can go to hell as well, we have bigger problems of daily suicide bombs in our cities, corrupt rulers, a broken economy, a US intervention is almost welcome.

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  • Tariq Shah
    Oct 5, 2011 - 2:29AM

    @observer:
    Pakistan suffered the most alongwith Afghanistan, and we helped bring the USSR down, it is the US that needs to kiss our feet.

    We helped them again after 911, and once they got OBL once again turned their eyes and now threaten to bomb and sanction us, when will we learn the US will never be our friend.

    We dont want the Taliban or the US, they are friends to no one.

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  • Tariq Shah
    Oct 5, 2011 - 2:29AM

    @John B:
    we dont care who wins, the policy will be the same treacherous, backstabbing, user kind.

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  • Aamir
    Oct 5, 2011 - 3:19AM

    Looks like Pakistan has burned its bridges with Democrats and Republicans.

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  • faheem
    Oct 5, 2011 - 9:26AM

    US has no right to stay in Afghanistan and Pakistan, He got what they wanted so called Taliban Leader Osama… Now what else they want???

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  • Yousaf
    Oct 5, 2011 - 11:07AM

    No, Pakistan should choose only people of Pakistan, not the Taliban or United States.

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  • fat joe
    Oct 5, 2011 - 7:17PM

    @Noor: they did act as allies paid you $21bn over ten years.

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  • Akhtarro
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:05PM

    The United Satates needs to rethink ” liberalism,values and democrcay ” as the core principles of its foreign Policy.

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  • Skin Taj
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:55PM

    I think after all that humiliation and failed strategy in Afghanistan…this is a clever or frustrated move from USA….. TWO BIRDS with ONE STONE…….If Pakistan attacks HAQQANI ( strongest faction of the Taliban) which USA has not been able to break after 10 years of Military might, backed by NATO forces…… PAKISTAN will not only loose last some ( influence ) amongst Pakistan sympathiser but will also be involved in a centuries long pitched battle for the future…..so USA will be happy that they don’t have to worry about PAKISTAN anymore….clever bit USA…now we know why you are so adamant that Pakistan Army should go after Haqqanis and attack them !!!!!
    and as a matter of fact if you know they are the one who attack deep down in Kabul…and you claim they come from Pakistan..why don’t you get them once they cross the PakAFghan border !!!!!!!!!!! A SIMPLE QUESTION ???

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  • Hamdani
    Nov 9, 2011 - 5:59AM

    A decaying superpower trying to tell us what to do. Can someone please pass this comment of mine to Mr. Barack Hussein Obama.

    Dear Mr. Obama,

    The tide has changed. It has swept with itself jewels and crowns. A throne has been carved into a tombstone. Burial place unintentionally willed by the dead himself. They call it the graveyard of empires. No time for the rituals.

    Very Sincerely,

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  • Alee Xee
    Nov 23, 2011 - 10:58AM

    strong textI would choose US because it is a bigger terrorist ;)

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