Conflict & Justice

Senate rap on Pakistan plays well in India

With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cosying up to Iran in New York, Indian papers played up the U.S. moves to censure Pakistan for its possible involvement in the Haqqani strike on American installations in Kabul earlier this month.

The key selling phrase was probably "proxy war," an old standby for India in describing Pakistan's alleged funding and training of terrorist groups to send across the border.

"We covered ... the need for the Haqqani Network to disengage, specifically the need for the ISI to disconnect from Haqqani and from this proxy war that they're fighting," the Hindustan Times quoted Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, as saying in a speech to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Tuesday.

"The ISI has been doing this - working for - supporting proxies for an extended period of time. It is a strategy in the country and I think that strategic approach has to shift in the future," Mullen said.

Even more exciting for New Delhi was a Senate committee vote to make aid to Islamabad conditional on fighting the militants, judging by Indian press reports. The decision by the Senate Appropriations Committee did not specify any amount of aid for Pakistan in fiscal 2012, the HT noted.

In contrast, the AP focused on a decision that may help in repairing the "frayed relations" between the U.S. and Pakistan -- an agreement to limit the number of American troops in Pakistan.

According to U.S. and Pakistani officials, the new compromise pact slashes the number of U.S. forces allowed in Pakistan to between 100 and 150, nearly half of what it has been in the past, the news agency reported. The number of special operations trainers would fall from 140 to fewer than 10.