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Trump’s strategy for Afghanistan won’t work: PM

Trump’s strategy for Afghanistan won’t work: PM
August 28, 2017
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has on Monday said that the US President Donald Trump’s strategy for the war in Afghanistan is doomed to failure. In his interview with the New York based Bloomberg News agency, he said: “From Day One, we have been saying very clearly the military strategy in Afghanistan has not worked, and it will not work.” The prime minister stressed the need for a political settlement in Afghanistan, adding that we do not intend to allow anybody to fight Afghanistan's battle on Pakistan's soil and Islamabad doesn't harbor terrorists. The stance of Abassi’s administration may complicate Trump’s plan for the region after he pledged more US troops for Afghanistan and called on Pakistan to stop providing a safe haven for terrorists. Abbasi said Pakistan is willing to work with all countries including India, from which Trump sought help to develop Afghanistan’s economy, to achieve regional stability. Still, he added the Afghan government should be “owning” the issue and dealing with the Taliban. “If they require our support, our support is available,” he said. “Our support is unconditional as far as terrorism is concerned.” The PM said the Afghan government should itself deal with Taliban and we are ready to provide any support to them if they required. On August 21, Trump set out his administration’s new “path forward” for Afghanistan, where US-led forces have been fighting a 16-year war against Taliban, al Qaeda, and other extremist groups attempting to overthrow the government in Kabul. In setting out the new strategy, Trump also took aim at Pakistan, saying Washington will no longer tolerate Pakistan offering "safe havens" to extremist groups, a claim Islamabad denies. In an apparent response, Pakistan postponed a visit by US Acting Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells due to begin on August 28. "At the request of the government of Pakistan, Acting Assistant Secretary Wells' trip has been postponed until a mutually convenient time," the US Embassy in Islamabad said. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on August 27 said the administration’s new strategy in Afghanistan is designed to put pressure on the Taliban to enter into negotiations with Kabul by “sending a message...that we are not going anywhere.” “I think the president’s been clear that this is a dramatic shift in terms of the military strategy,” Tillerson said.