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...But the visit produced no breakthroughs in what has become an increasingly dysfunctional relationship.The United States and Pakistan are more opponents than allies, but it is important to keep the lines of communication open and Sharif's visit will provide a base for future efforts to find common areas of cooperation, especially as the situation in Afghanistan clarifies in 2014.A decade ago, George W. Bush embraced Pervez Musharraf as America's top ally in the war against terror.In the years that followed, Bush and Obama provided Pakistan with over $25 billion in military and economic aid, including 18 F-16 jet fighters and a Perry Class frigate.The goal was to fight al-Qaeda.Only Israel got more aid from America in the last decade.In practice, however, America and its NATO allies are fighting a proxy war with Pakistan in Afghanistan. ...Indian Express on Oct. 28, 2013, 5:31 a.m.
...This eagerness to find a way out has been on display in Doha in the preparations to begin a political process to get the Taliban to the negotiating table.The truth is we really don't even know who is calling the shots in the Taliban leadership today.After years of indirect talks between the Taliban, Washington, Kabul and several other third parties, the Qatari government allowed the Taliban to open an office in Doha with the Taliban flag flying and signs everywhere proclaiming the office represents the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.For President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan government America supports, the symbolism was a sell-out.Instead of treating the Taliban as a political party or a gang of terrorists, the Taliban got the symbols of full statehood. ...Indian Express on July 3, 2013, 5:29 a.m.