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AFGHANISTAN: US also needs help

25 August 2017

"We need to value the important role of Pakistan in the Afghan issue and respect the sovereignty and legitimate security concerns of Pakistan", she said, according to Chinese foreign ministry press release.

The top USA diplomat also doubled down on Trump's comments about Pakistan, noting that it can play an important role in delivering the Taliban to the negotiating table but warned that Islamabad must stop offering safe haven to terrorist groups or face consequences.

On the USA new policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, she said the elaboration of the U.S. policy on Afghanistan and South Asia has drawn a widespread attention.

President Trump's claim of "paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars" was said to be "misleading". Under Trump, the United States will also continue to engage regional neighbors, such as India and Pakistan, in efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.

Denying that it provides safe havens to militants, Pakistan said that a complex interplay of geopolitics and the pursuit of "hegemonic policies" were to blame for the threat to peace and stability in South Asia.

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Since 9/11, U.S. budgeted $ 17.22 billion in military and $8.68 billion in economic assistance to Pakistan. "I mean that's what they've been doing for all this while", he said, referring to Trump's remarks that the United States is not in Afghanistan for nation building, but to kill terrorists.

"This policy announcement ... is proof of our continued commitment", he said. "Those that harbour terrorist networks must eliminate them", Lt Gen (Retd) Keith Kellogg, Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff of the National Security Council, wrote in an op-ed to Breitbart News.

Senator John Cornyn, co-Chair of the Senate Indian Caucus, rued that the previous administration of Barack Obama never held Pakistan accountable for providing sanctuary to terrorists.

He has nearly entirely blamed Pakistan for America's Afghan quagmire and threatened awful retribution, including giving India and even greater role in Afghanistan.

On Thursday, General Nicholson characterized the new strategy in Afghanistan as defining success by conditions on the ground and not "arbitrary timelines".

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Coons said it uses a regional approach to challenge Pakistan's troubling practice of harbouring extremist groups.

Analysts and officials here read Trump's remarks about Pakistan as the strongest message by an American President to Pakistan's duplicity on terrorism but say all would depend on how the details of his policy play out.

Senator Ben Cardin, a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said pressure must be increased on Pakistan to end its support for extremist groups.

"And actually the U.S. should think of leaving Afghanistan, because as long as their troops are in Afghanistan there's always going to be a problem, " Khan stated.

Threats to withdraw USA military aid entirely aren't going to have much impact, since the U.S. needs Pakistan for its broader efforts in South Asia, Rizvi said. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important.

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AFGHANISTAN: US also needs help