And the Americans got the answer through the ISPR.
Well, that essentially means that the Haqqani Network remains at the heart of the fractious Pakistan-US relationship. The reticence demonstrated by both countries at times makes the issue look more like a matter of ego than of real substance; the US military establishment projects the Haqqanis as the sole source of violence and instability in Afghanistan. Pakistan, on the other hand, points to Mulla Omar and Gulbudin Hekmetyar as the other two components of the nationalist insurgency in Afghanistan. The Americans insist the Haqqanis operate out of North Waziristan, while the Pakistani military establishment snubs this insistence by saying the Haqqanis lord over the entire greater Paktia region (Paktia, Khowst, Paktika).
If the recent statements by the American AfPak envoy Mark Grossman were any indicator, the Americans themselves are pursuing dialogue with Mulla Omar as part of their reconciliation strategy. But they want Pakistan to crackdown on the Haqqanis. Pakistanis fends this off by saying they cannot antagonize the Haqqanis - who belong to the Zadran tribe that straddles both sides of the Durand Line - for the pleasure of the Americans. Pakistani officials also insist they cannot jeopardize the national security interests by going after the militants in North Waziristan in an indiscriminate way because of their tentacles with militant and religio-political outfits based in mainland Pakistan. Any military action, they argue, could amount to shaking up a beehive.
But, it seems, the American establishment refuses to buy this logic. Nor has Pakistan succeeded in conveying clearly as to why a direct action against the Haqqanis is very difficult, if not impossible. They have also failed in vocally explaining to the Americans and other allies on the possible implications for the country.
That is why the questions arises as to whether both countries can negotiate themselves out of a stalemate without the one i.e. Pakistan openly laying open its policy towards a group, the Haqqani Network, that the other side i.e. the US considers detrimental to the interests of the US-led forces and views it as the biggest threat to the Afghan reconciliation and peace? Probably not.
Some foreign diplomats hold the view that unless Pakistani leadership lays its policy rationale and reservations on the table, it will be very difficult to find a middle ground with the Americans on this particular issue. The American interlocutors cannot convince the Congress on Pakistani position if it remains undeclared and ambiguous. You do not negotiate intentions. The talks pre-requisite clearly spelt out policy positions. And this is missing in Pakistan’s engagement with the United States.