End Game

Pakistan Wants in on Afghan Talks

Pakistan has offered to help mediate with the Taliban as the U.S. seeks to wind down the Afghan war and leave the country. Pakistan has been reluctant to engage the Taliban, which uses territory in its tribal areas to attack U.S. and allied forces, and for the most part, the U.S. has only encouraged Pakistan to attack the insurgent group. The offer could be a mixed blessing. It was made by Pakistan’s army chief at a meeting last month at NATO headquarters; he said he interpreted President Obama’s lack of focus on the war during his State of the Union address as a sign that the U.S. is looking to leave Afghanistan quickly. The Pakistani military and intelligence agencies have long held ties to Jalaluddin and Siraj Haqqani, who lead a Taliban network that also works with al Qaeda. Pakistan would be looking for a way to influence Afghanistan with a friendly government that would limit the presence of India there.