Formerly published on WASHINGTON POST, by Kashi N Pandit.
re: Iraq Elections
This refers to the editorial ‘Forgotten War’ (14 Sept). Any attempt to short cut forthcoming elections in Iraq like district-wise polling would be a Himalayan blunder. Only free flow of democratic process will earn credibility to the US. Moreover, seeking referendum to the presence or withdrawal of American forces from Iraq with a view to raise the stock of Al Maliki, again, will not be a healthy sign. Free and fair elections in Iraq will not only bring credibility to the US but will also provide her an excellent opportunity to wriggle out of Iraq imbroglio. But to think that free elections followed by American withdrawal will prevent Al Qaeda spreading its tentacles in Iraq is wishful thinking. Unless Taliban in Afghanistan and their cohorts in Pakistan are uprooted lock stock and barrel, Al Qaeda’s clandestine expansion cannot be blocked. The rumour of the US engaged in Track II talks with Taliban is no guarantee of containing Al Qaeda because its network is much more active outside Pak-Afghanistan region.