“We picked up Baradar and the others because they were trying to make a deal without us,” said a Pakistani security official, who, like numerous people interviewed about the operation, spoke anonymously because of the delicacy of relations between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States. “We protect the Taliban. They are dependent on us. We are not going to allow them to make a deal with Karzai and the Indians.”Sure, this latest news may not have affected attitudes, but those attitudes were already fairly set against Pakistan for the years of the double-game, getting lots of assistance while still providing refuge and support for the Taliban, for Al Qaeda, and for terrorist groups aimed at India.
Is it fair or right that this diminishes support for the people struck by this horrible tragedy? Certainly not. But Pakistan as a government raises big questions about the limits of power and of patience.