Pakistan’s ‘equities’ to be acknowledged in any future agreement with Afghanistan: US General

A United States General has said that his country’s military strategy for South Asia includes assuring Pakistan that its “equities” are acknowledged and addressed in any future agreement in Afghanistan, reported the Dawn. 

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this week, Gen Joseph Votel also said that “some military cooperation activities” between the US and Pakistan have continued even though the Trump administration has suspended security assistance to the country.

“Our posture with Pakis­tan involves supporting our colleagues at the Department of State as they pursue a diplomatic solution with Islamabad to end the conflict in Af­ghanistan while ensuring that Pakistan’s equities are acknowledged and addressed in any future agreement,” he said.

Islamabad has never hesitated in sharing its concern with Washington that it feared a hostile setup in Kabul would be used, particularly by India, for stirring troubles in Pakistan. American analysts in Washington claim that it’s this fear that has prevented Islamabad from severing its ties to the Taliban.

ALSO READ: Moscow peace talks: Taliban says Afghan Constitution ‘illegitimate’, an obstacle to peace

Gen Votel, however, told the committee members that Pakistan was an important regional player — not just because of the Afghan conflict — and that’s why Washington wants to retain its relationship with Islamabad. “As a state possessing nuclear weapons that sits at the nexus of Russian, Chinese, Indian, Iranian, and US geopolitical interests, Pakistan will always be a country of importance to the United States,” he said.

Gen Votel also acknowledged the positive role Pakistan has played in arranging the ongoing dialogue between US and Taliban officials in Doha, Qatar, and hoped that this cooperation would continue.

Earlier, Former head of Taliban’s Qatar office, Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, said that despite disagreements over women’s rights and demands for an Islamic constitution in Afghanistan, the peace talks in Moscow were ‘very successful’.

Moreover, He also said that in the event of US withdrawing, they were to leave all military hardware behind.



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