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Pak military lacks commitment to deal with terrorists, says Afghan envoy to US


Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United States Said T. Jawad feels that Pakistan has a capable military to deal with the terrorists, but it "lacks full commitment."

In an interview to noted US columnist Austin Bay, Jawad said that there is "no doubt" that the Taliban and al-Qaida terrorists have taken a safe haven in Pakistan.

He stressed that Pakistanis must be convinced that "it is in their best national interest, and in the interest of regional and global stability, to act" against the militants.

"I think, more and more Pakistan's administration and military are realizing supporting terrorism is a very dangerous game. It completely undermines Pakistan and destabilizes it, as well," he added.

Commenting on the bilateral ties with Islamabad, he said that at the moment, Afghanistan prefers to pursue a long-term diplomatic strategy with Pakistan.

"Afghanistan has promised Pakistan we will be their best ally," the ambassador said, adding, "We will provide them access into Central Asia."

Jawad further acknowledged that the "Afghan people still do not feel safe" in the country, as "Protection provided by international forces and the Afghan government is not adequate."

Recalling a column published when the US troops were taking control of Afghanistan after 9/11, Bay said, "It takes time to seed CIA and Special Forces teams among rural tribes, particularly in the Pushtun-dominated south. Developing personal relationships with tribal elders is a glacial process. Green Beret majors have to sit down and sip a lot of tea, as chieftains scrutinize promises of aid. Uncle Sugar wants my warriors now, but where will the Americans be in three years?"

But come September 2007, six years later, the "Afghan chieftains who lined up with America know they made a good decision," adds Bay.

Bay concludes that Pak-Afghan diplomacy is a "frustrating process," saying that as they talk, suicide bombers kill on a daily basis. NATO, the Afghan Army and the United States may launch a cross-border counterattack, but the diplomatic approach acknowledges Pakistan's political fragility.

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