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

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora