January 30, 2013
Musharraf: Pakistan Can Play 'Critical Role' in Stabilizing Afghanistan
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf tells VOA that his country can play a "critical role" in whatever initiative is taken toward stabilizing Afghanistan.
Speaking to VOA's Ashna Radio in Washington Tuesday, Musharraf added that it will be "unfortunate" for the region and Afghanistan if Pakistan is ignored in the process.
His comments come as Afghanistan's top military officials are meeting with their Pakistani counterparts in Islamabad for discussions on mutual defense issues.
One possible item on the agenda is Pakistan's training of Afghan security forces. Musharraf said that since before the terror attacks on the United States in 2001, he has been telling the Afghan government to send its "military, diplomats [and] security persons" to Pakistan for free training - something he said Kabul has never done.
Speaking to VOA's Afghan Service on Tuesday, Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan, Mohammad Omar Daudzai, acknowledged Pakistan's past offers of training and said the visiting Afghan delegation had discussed the issue of cooperation with Pakistani military officials.
He said an agreement had not yet been reached, though, and that his government does not expect one at the end of the Afghan military delegation's trip to Islamabad.