Afghanistan: Is Pakistan on Board with U.S. Objectives?

Lisa Curtis /

Today’s Wall Street Journal carries a stunning piece about a meeting that took place on April 16 in Kabul between Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The article asserts that Gilani sought to convince Karzai to break relations with the U.S. and instead seek an alliance with Pakistan and China, both of which are not keen on the prospect of permanent U.S. bases in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. has denied the veracity of the report, and the Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson went even further, calling it, “the most ridiculous report we have come across.”

It’s also possible that some Afghan leaders are exaggerating or fabricating Gilani’s statements for their own purposes, particularly to influence crucial U.S.–Afghan negotiations on a strategic partnership agreement to guide relations beyond 2014. (more…)