The stalemate in Afghanistan will not improve unless the United States acknowledges its defeat in the country, says Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif.
Asif told lawmakers that US policymakers, and not their military commanders, needed to drop the failed military plan and devise a political solution.
“There will only be room for improvement if Washington accepts their defeat, their failures in Afghanistan,” Asif said. “They are not ready to accept this.”
“Our country, our military and our police have made sacrifices in the war and in return, we have gained unmatched success,” the foreign minister said, rebuking claims by the administration of US President Donald Trump that Pakistan was not doing enough to fight the Taliban and the Daesh terrorist groups in Afghanistan.
The new Republican president denounced the Pakistani government for offering safe haven to “agents of chaos” in a speech in April, when he revealed Washington’s plans for prolonged military presence in Afghanistan by sending 3,000 more troops to the country.
US policymakers have been exploring a range of options to adopt a more aggressive approach against Pakistan, which may include reducing military aid, increasing unilateral drone activity, and revoking Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally.
Pakistan not a US ‘proxy’
During his Senate report, Asif said Pakistani officials told Tillerson and his team that Islamabad did not want any military hardware, economic resources or material gain from Washington and was rather looking forward to forging a relationship based on equality.
He further informed the senators that Pakistan would act against terrorists wreaking havoc in Afghanistan only when the US provided actionable intelligence.
However, if they want that we act as their proxies to fight their war… this is unacceptable,” he said.
“We will not compromise on our sovereignty, our dignity,” Asif asserted. “Our relations [with America] should be based on self-respect and dignity.”
Tillerson’s tone ‘not acceptable’
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani slammed Tillerson on Tuesday for his statements during a visit to Afghanistan a day before.
“His [Tillerson] tone and tenor are not acceptable,” the Senate chairman said. “His statement came one day before his visit to Pakistan. It seems like a viceroy told Tillerson what to say [on his visit].”
The top US diplomat said in Kabul that Pakistan “needs to take a clear-eyed view of the situation that they are confronted with in terms of the number of terrorist organizations that find safe haven [in the country].”