News / Asia

Pakistani Adviser Faults US Afghan Policy

FILE - Adviser to the Pakistani Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz
FILE - Adviser to the Pakistani Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz
TEXT SIZE - +
Ayaz Gul
— Pakistan’s national security and foreign policy adviser, Sartaj Aziz, has criticized the United States' Afghan strategy, saying it has failed to defeat terrorism, promote economic development or create political stability in neighboring Afghanistan.  He reiterated Islamabad’s demand for an end to end U.S. drone strikes against suspected militants on the Pakistani side of the border. 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government has promised to improve Pakistan’s strained relations with the United States and has rarely commented on Washington’s Afghan strategy since taking charge in June.  Instead, it has stepped up efforts to promote peace talks between the Kabul government and the Taliban ahead of the withdrawal of most U.S.-led coalition forces from Afghanistan by the end of this year.

But Sharif’s adviser on national security and foreign policy, Sartaj Aziz, for the first time on Wednesday criticized the United States for failing to achieve its stated Afghan objectives and went on to blame the strategy for the rise in militancy in Pakistan.

“Did they [the U.S.] bring peace to Afghanistan?  No.  Did they end terrorism? No.  Did they bring development to Afghanistan?  No.  Did they create a stable democracy?  No," Aziz said. "So, they did not achieve any of their objectives but the problems they created for us are for all to see now.”

Islamist militants linked to the Afghan Taliban are waging a bloody insurgency in Pakistan and have killed thousands of people, including security force members, in recent years.  The militants are entrenched in the northwestern tribal belt bordering Afghanistan and despite repeated offensives the Pakistan army has been unable to uproot their bases.

Aziz reiterated Islamabad’s concerns that in the absence of a sustained peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, the withdrawal of foreign forces from that country will strengthen insurgents on both sides of the porous border.

“If there is large-scale fighting then obviously there will be spillover effects.  So, we are working very hard to promote reconciliation and dialogue among Afghan factions," he said. "We do not want to interfere into Afghan matters but to facilitate reconciliation so that the political transition and the security transition go forward smoothly and there is no turmoil which would spillover into Pakistan.”

U.S. officials, however, have long accused operatives of the Pakistani spy agency (ISI) of sheltering fugitive Afghan insurgents and helping them carry out cross-border raids on local and international forces. These suspicions remain at the center of political debates in Washington. 

These concerns were reiterated last month by the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ed Royce, during a congressional hearing on Afghanistan.

“Pakistan’s military and security service continue to complicate matters by supporting the Taliban," he said. "Pakistan is a double-dealer, paying lip service to cooperation with the U.S. unfortunately, while simultaneously undermining our primary objective for bringing Afghanistan under the control of a democratically elected government.”

Pakistani adviser Aziz, in his remarks on Wednesday, again demanded the United States end its drone strikes against suspected militants in the tribal areas near the Afghan border.

“I think by and large whatever targets they [U.S.] had, what they call high value targets, have been largely taken care of and now the time has come to stop them,” he said.

The CIA-run drone campaign has been at the center of recent tensions between Islamabad and Washington. Pakistani officials insist the missile attacks violate their country’s sovereignty and civilian deaths in these actions are fueling militancy in the region.  American officials maintain the strikes are carefully planned to avoid collateral damage and describe drones as an effective weapon to fight terrorism.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid