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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid