Pakistan not responsible for U.S. defeat in Afghanistan: Asif

Saul Bowman
October 27, 2017

During Secretary Tillerson's visit it was impressed upon the United States side that Washington's policy in the region had been hammered out by generals who had failed in Afghanistan, but were not ready to admit to the ground realities, Asif had told the Senate on Wednesday.

"Our relations with the United States should be based on self respect and dignity", the foreign minister told the Pakistan Senate. However, he clearly stated that on the basis of equality and self-respect, Pakistan want to expand relations with the US.

Asif further informed the Senate that the Pakistani side has told the American delegation that if the latter provides actionable intelligence, Pakistan will act on it. "There will only be room for improvement if Washington accepts their defeat ... their failures in Afghanistan for over the past 16 years [since the war started]", Asif said, adding, "They are not ready to accept this".

On Wednesday, Sushma Swaraj and Tillerson, who was on an India visit, told the media that New Delhi and Washington have agreed that US President Donald Trump's new Afghanistan policy would be effective only if Pakistan takes action against terror groups on its soil.

Former Pakistani Ambassador Ali Sarwar Naqvi said the low-key welcome shouldn't be seen as a slight, saying then-President Bill Clinton was given similar treatment when he visited in 2000.

"The role of these countries in solving the dispute is indispensable", Asif added.

He said that almost 45 per cent of Afghanistan's territory was under Daesh control, adding that terrorists would not need Pakistan for their hideouts as they have ample space available in Afghanistan.


"The things which due to diplomatic norms couldn't be said were discussed during these talks after which the USA changed its stance", Asif said, adding that a United States delegation, led by Lisa Curtis, the senior director for South and Central Asia at the National Security Council, stressed upon restoring contacts between the two countries during a recent visit to Islamabad.

The daily noticed that the stronger language used by Tillerson against Pakistan while visiting Afghanistan and India will definitely rise Islamabad's problems.

The foreign minister stressed that Pakistan did not have terrorist safe havens and the U.S. was not buying Pakistan's narrative, neither was Pakistan buying the narrative of the US.

"They do not need our territory any more".

But Mr Asif blamed the "ineptitude" of American and global forces in Afghanistan for not ending the conflict. "Nearly 40% of Afghan territory is now under the direct control of the Taliban". Beijing has also time and again tripped India on its bid to become an NSG member, by tacitly supporting Pakistan's bid and placing both countries at the same level on the issue of not signing the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

"We do not get any military hardware from them". He said the U.S. had been told that Pakistan no longer had influence over the Afghan Taliban as it did in the past.

Pakistan is accused of sheltering and maintaining secret ties to the Taliban and the Haqqani network.

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