US military solution failed in Afghanistan: Khawaja Asif

ISLAMABAD (APP): Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday said that the United States has failed in Afghanistan after deploying its forces for over 16 years and a political solution is needed.

He was briefing the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs. Pakistan wants to have ties with the US based on self-respect and dignity; the country would not compromise on its sovereignty and dignity, the foreign minister underlined.

He said Pakistan had clearly told the US that it would not be a scapegoat in Afghan war, adding that the US was clearly apprised that the country was not responsible for its sheer defeat.

About his recent tours of four countries concerning the revised US policy towards the region, Asif said that the all four friendly countries backed Pakistan’s stance towards the US.

All these countries had also expressed reservations about the new US policy, the finance minister said. “Pakistan has also extended its consultation with Saudi Arabia regarding the US policy,” he added. He said all these countries have advised Pakistan to hold talks with the US.

Moreover, he said the parliamentary resolutions also sent a strong message to the US. On Wednesday, the foreign minister was addressed the Senate session chaired by Raza Rabbani over the visit of United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Pakistan on Tuesday.

Khwaja Asif reminded that relations with US were seven decades old but several compromises were made in the past by respective governments and it would be more ideal to discuss Tillerson’s visit.

He said that Pakistan desires peace in Afghanistan and is making efforts, but a large portion of the restive nation is controlled by the Islamic State. “Daesh is in control of forty-five percent of Afghanistan” he stated.

“We have not made any compromise over (US President) Trump’s speech,” he said adding a compromise was made after the 9/11 attacks and the effects are still seen. “US efforts in our neighbourhood will not succeed,” he said. “The Afghan government is facilitating India in the region.”

Khawaja Asif said that US has failed against the Afghan Taliban but is not willing to admit its mistakes over his policy which has yielded no results since the last sixteen years. “We have informed them that those leading are the one who have lost the war,” he said. “Those who have failed will never develop a policy to admit their shortcomings.”

“We have also told them to let the politicians there decide the policy,” he said and several ISAF and Centcom commanders have failed with their policies and are instead blaming Pakistan.

On the contrary, the foreign minister said that Pakistan has seen several successes in the war against terrorism and its armed forces and law-enforcement agencies have made tremendous sacrifices.

“We are the nation which has stood up against a super power,” he said that Pakistan is self-respecting nation which has stood up against the United States.

“Our government is not at the mercy of the United States,” he said adding that previous governments were reliant on the US for its power survival. “My strength lies in the parliament and the people,” adding that the government has not yielded to any pressure in the last two months.

Speaking over Tillerson’s brief visit, he said that entire civil-military leadership was united and gave its input and was not apologetic. The US was told that Pakistan would act on ‘actionable intelligence’ provided to them such as in the recent release of a US-Canadian couple.

However, he said that it is unacceptable for Pakistan to be a proxy and fight the United States war in Afghanistan. “Let me assure the House that we will not compromise on our sovereignty, dignity.”