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
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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid