August 10th, 2010
09:56 AM ET

Opinion: Why Pakistan plays a double game

Fawaz A. Gerges
Special to CNN

Weapons recovered during Pakistani military operations against Taliban militants are displayed in South Waziristan in 2009.

Weapons recovered during Pakistani military operations against Taliban militants are displayed in South Waziristan in 2009.

On a recent visit to India, British Prime Minister David Cameron had this to say about Pakistan, historically a close friend of the West's: "We cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror, whether to India or whether to Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world."

Seen by the Pakistani government as a slap in the face, Cameron's remarks almost caused a diplomatic breach in relations between the two countries. His remarks followed the leaking of U.S. documents on the WikiLeaks website in which Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency was accused of secretly aiding and inflaming the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, and they engendered a heated debate in Western capitals on whether Pakistan is a friend or a foe.

The dominant narrative in the West now is that Pakistan is a foe, playing a double game, guiding the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand even as it receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help in combating al Qaeda and like-minded groups.

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Filed under: Opinion • Pakistan
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. imran latif

    Pakistan is not playing double game.. Pakistan is one of the country which is effected by this war more then other countries of the world..i agree with zaigham zaggi that the timing of the leaking of the documents and the timing of David Cameron statement is not coincidental.. every body knows west cant win war in Afghanistan and west will do the same thing when Pakistan help them in war against Russia in Afghanistan... i want to ask a question what will Pakistan do if american and NATO forces leave Afghanistan in the hands of Taliban..only one 9/11happened in america and they started war against Taliban.. in Pakistan people are facing these types of incidents every days thousand of people of Pakistan give their lives and still west thinks that Pakistan is playing a double game. the thing is that people of Pakistan dont believe in the policies of west they know west will again leave us alone so Pakistan should protect his interest first and think about his own interest and not about those who dont trust Pakistan and giving statements against Pakistan while sitting in India...

    August 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  2. zaigham zaggi

    I strongly believe that timing of David Cameron's comments and leaking of documents is not coincidental. It makes me laugh out loud to read all about fingers pointed at Pakistan, demands of do more and blames on its agencies. Has Pakistan been left with any other choice but to play double game? Where is common sense? Has our memory failed us that we can't remember how Pakistan has been used by western powers and left to deal with their mess in the Past? Should Pakistan not protects its long term interest?

    August 10, 2010 at 10:38 am |