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Pakistan pushback: US is 'shifting blame' for Afghan insurgency

In India, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked Pakistan to do more in taking on radical Islamist groups, including handing over Hafiz Saeed, thought to have had a role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

By Scott BaldaufStaff writer / May 8, 2012

In this Monday, May 7, photo, Lt. Gen. Khalid Rabbani, the commander of the Pakistani Army’s crucial Peshawar Corps, smiles during an interview with The Associated Press in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Mohammad Sajjad/AP

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If nations had Facebook pages, then India and the United States would list their status as “in a relationship.” Pakistan would write, “it’s complicated.”

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In an interview with the Associated Press this weekend, Lt. Gen. Khalid Rabbani, the commander of the Pakistani Army’s crucial Peshawar Corps, admitted that his country could do more to go after violent groups in his country, but complained that the US is scapegoating Pakistan for its own problems in Afghanistan.

”Why do they raise their fingers toward Pakistan? It is shifting the blame to others,” General Rabbani told the AP. ”Is Afghanistan free of Taliban? It has hundreds of thousands of them.”

The interview comes as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits New Delhi to confirm aspects of the growing US strategic partnership with India over global trade, security matters, and how to wean India off of Iranian oil.

While in New Delhi, Ms. Clinton said that the US and India would “keep pushing” Pakistan to do more in taking on radical Islamist groups, including handing over Hafiz Saeed, founder of a Pakistani-based militant group that is believed to have carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

"We're well aware that there [have] not yet been the steps taken by the Pakistani government to do what both India and the United States have repeatedly requested," Clinton said at a town-hall-style meeting in Kolkata during the weekend. "And we're going to keep pushing that point. So it's a way of raising the visibility and pointing out to those who are associated with him that there is a cost for that."

'It's complicated'

If America’s relationship with India has turned a corner to become strategic partnership, America’s relationship with Pakistan has been “complicated” for quite a while.

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