NSA, David Hale discuss Pak-US relations

400
APP65-31 ISLAMABAD: August 31 - US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale called on National Security Adviser, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Nasser Khan Janjua. APP

ISLAMABAD, Aug 31 (APP): United States ambassador to Pakistan
David Hale called on National Security Adviser Lt. Gen (R) Nasser
Khan Janjua on Thursday and discussed the new U.S strategy on
Afghanistan and South Asia announced by President Trump in his
address at Fort Myers on August 20.
The cordial discussion lasted for fifty minutes, says a press
release.
Ambassador Hale said that the press had generally taken the
policy piece by piece instead of interpreting it as a whole.
He clarified that President Trump did not blame Pakistan for
failure in Afghanistan.
It was also wrong to assume that the policy recommended a
purely military solution or that engagement with Pakistan had been
ruled out, he added.
Military strategy, he said, was just one piece of the policy
which espoused a political solution.
US ambassador displayed a cooperative outlook and expressed
his desire to work closely with Pakistan to find solutions.
The policy, he added, supported the role of regional countries
in a peaceful settlement where Pakistan had an important role to
play.
He said the U.S was thinking of reviving and accelerating the
QCG and the Six-plus-One process on Afghanistan where Pakistan will
have a leading role. U.S. recognized Pakistan’s sacrifices in the
war on terror and hoped that it would continue to play its
cooperative role.
The Ambassador further clarified that additional troops in
Afghanistan will be deployed as trainers of Afghan Armed Forces.
Enhanced authority for decision making given to field
commanders meant quick action against all terrorist groups,
including the TTP which is enemy of Pakistan.
“Kabul Government had also been called upon to realign itself
for playing its full role in controlling the insurgency and winning
over the hearts and minds of its people while improving its
governance,” the ambassador stressed.
Regarding the role envisaged for India, the Ambassador said
his Government was aware about the feelings in Pakistan on this
matter and was ready to play its role in reducing tensions between
the two neighbours.
He further clarified that India’s role was envisaged for
economic development only.
Thanking Ambassador for the cooperative outlook, NSA said that
Pakistan was taking its time to fully examine the new policy and
considering all options and would like to receive further details
from the U.S. side.
He said this notwithstanding, President Trump’s address at
Fort Myers was disappointing and had deeply hurt the feelings of the
Government and the people of Pakistan.
Pakistan had been wrongly blamed, threatened and negatively
projected to the world which was unacceptable. Our nuclear weapons
were wrongly linked with terrorism which was totally uncalled for ,
he added.
“The new policy has created uncertainties and further added to
the regional fragility and imbalance. That is why the people, the
Parliament and the Government had sharply reacted to President
Trump’s statement.”
NSA stressed the need for working together to stabilize
Afghanistan.
He said, “we all should work together to seek the closure of
conflict in Afghanistan instead of winning it. Victory in war, he
said, resides in the way war is prosecuted. He identified faulty
persecution of war in Afghanistan as the reason of rise in violence.
He further said, “One should not try and win war in
Afghanistan by way of vengeance as this will further spread the
conflict and spiral things out of control.
US Ambassador agreed with the suggestion to seek the closure
of conflict in Afghanistan.
Regarding the role envisaged for India in Afghanistan, NSA
said that creation of competitiveness within a campaign and alliance
is counter-productive and the sides should not go that way.
Reiterating the risks and dangers of a purely military
strategy, NSA suggested establishment of a parallel fully-empowered
Political Authority by US in Afghanistan that would work in parallel
to the military commanders to help find a peaceful, political
solution to the conflict and bring the perpetual conflict in
Afghanistan to a quick closure that was in the best interest of all
parties.
NSA also clarified to the US Ambassador that any kinetic
action will further vitiate the situation and hence be avoided.
Ambassador US agreed and said, “we rather need to normalize the
situation.”
The NSA and the ambassador both reiterated to work very
closely to find solution to seek the closure of this conflict in
Afghanistan.