News / Asia

Pakistani Official Says Taliban Can Outwait the West

Pakistani Official Says Taliban Can Outwait the West
Pakistani Official Says Taliban Can Outwait the West
Lisa Schlein

The Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva says most Pashtuns in Afghanistan, whether they are Taliban or not, see the United States and NATO as a presence of occupation. He says the Taliban, who are indigenous to Afghanistan, are in a good position to come out on top because it can outwait “the enemy.”  

Pakistani Ambassador, Zamir Akram, says after nearly 10 years of war, promises of economic development have not been fulfilled and Afghan Pashtuns are disillusioned.

As a consequence, he says Afghans look at the United States and NATO as occupying powers. And, this he says feeds into the kind of propaganda the Taliban are eager to promote.

He says the use of force is only one element in a larger political strategy needed to oust or contain the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan.

“A lot of the intelligence in the U.S. claims that they have degraded al-Qaida and Taliban leadership,” Ambassador Akram said. “But, killing people or killing even the leaders is not, at least in our view, going to lead to a solution because these leaders will be replaced. The Taliban see this as a war in which time is on their side. They can wait it out and once we start talking about exit strategies and everybody is talking about exit timelines, then they even have an idea about how long they are going to have to wait.”  

The ambassador says his government sees collateral damage from drone and other aerial attacks as a major problem.   He notes Pakistan shares the West’s objectives to fight and defeat the Taliban and other extremists. But, collateral damage, undermines his government.

He says U.S.-led attacks are seen as a violation of Pakistani sovereignty and territorial integrity.

U.S. President Barak Obama, and other American officials have criticized Pakistan for not doing enough to curb fighters within its borders who attack US-led forces in neighboring Afghanistan.

This week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in the region to talk about security.

While in Kabul, he said that Pakistan needed to do more to help the U.S. in its battle against Taliban and other fighters in Afghanistan.

And, after arriving in Islamabad a few days later for talks with the country's president, Asif Ali Zardari, and senior government officials, Mr. Biden said more pressure on the Taliban from Pakistan's side of the border is needed.

Ambassador Akram says people in Pakistan also are uneasy about American statements that they want the Pakistanis to do more to defeat the Taliban. He says Pakistanis are concerned that the Americans want their forces to go into northern Waziristan, to do more to kill and destroy the Taliban network in Afghanistan.

But, the ambassador said Pakistanis view the opening of a dialogue initiated by the West and the government in Afghanistan with the Taliban with some suspicion.

“From our perspective, when you ask us to go after these guys in north Waziristan or in other parts or wherever they are, what you are asking us is to pull your chestnuts out of the fire and be the bad guys,” he added. So, we kill them, while you talk to them and that is not something that is not seen as a viable approach from our perspective because we have to live with these people in the future. We cannot have an exit strategy from Afghanistan.”

Since 2001, he says Pakistan has incurred a cost of $40 billion from its own resources in destroyed infrastructure and in diverting funds away from other essential expenditures.

You May Like

US States Where Women Work for Free

Women earn less than men in all 50 states More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows Fight to Death Against IS

In wide-ranging interview, Fuad Masum describes new type of fight that will take time to win More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs