Once again, we learn that there was ‘much ado about nothing’ with regards to American military bullying our armed forces. After everyone has gotten upset about the American General Stanley McChrystal telling Gen. Kayani to launch a new offensive, it turns out this conversation never happened. This time, the fault appears to be with the US media – which just goes to show that, unfortunately, we are not the only country with journalists who fail to check their facts.
Anwar Iqbal reports for Dawn that the American General has publicly stated that he has never asked Gen. Kayani to ‘do more’ and that this is an incorrect story that was published by some American media.
“Yes, there was an unfortunate news story that came out that was completely inaccurate that represented that I had expressed to Gen Kayani US policy on doing more, and that just didn’t happen,” said Gen Stanley McChrystal, who commands US and Nato forces in Afghanistan.
“It was a one-on-one meeting and it (the demand) did not occur. And I’d made it clear to Gen Kayani that I did not represent it that way,” the US commander told a White House briefing.
But the American General did not stop there. Actually, he went on to scold the American media for not giving Pakistan credit for its efforts, and instructed them to pay closer attention to the ‘major effort’ that Pakistan’s armed forces are making.
At the White House briefing, Gen McChrystal not only denied ever urging Gen Kayani to launch an operation but also urged the US media to appreciate Pakistan’s position.
“I think that it is important that we understand that the insurgency faced by Pakistan, the TTP, is an essential threat,” he said. “It’s a significant threat to their country. And it’s complimentary to what Afghanistan faces. So it puts the two nations with a common problem.”
Gen McChrystal noted that the Afghan Taliban and TTP were distinct, but were not completely unrelated.
“And therefore it’s important we sync our two campaigns together. And that’s why I spend a lot of time with Gen Kayani, who’s a good partner, working that,” he explained.
A journalist tried to argue with him that the bulk of the Pakistani effort to fight militants was directed at the Pakistani Taliban, leaving aside those who threatened US interests in Afghanistan.
“I think it’s interesting that most people don’t understand the scope of the Pakistani effort against the TTP,” replied the US general. “It’s been large and it’s been costly. They’ve lost a lot of soldiers in a significant campaign that’s actually been waged very, very well.”
Further explaining his point, Gen McChrystal added: “So I think it’s really good, when we get a chance, to understand the major effort that they’ve made.”
Taliban is also an enemy of American and also an enemy of Pakistan. If we lose sight of this common bond, we are only harming our own interests. Unfortunately, there is inaccurate information being published both in our media and also in the American media. We should read all reports with a critical mind, and not be quick to accept the worst of everyone.