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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora