The Nation, Pakistan

Dispense with America's Failed Strategy Now


"It's now the moment for the Pakistani leadership to extricate itself from this misguided American war and commence a holistic policy of dialogue and accommodation backed by military power."




September 16, 2010


Pakistan - The Nation - Original Article (English)

Gulbadin Hekmatyar: The Afghan warlord is one of those pushing, with some success, for a dialogue with the Taliban and other militants and a complete withdrawal of foreign forces.  

BBC NEWS VIDEO: Is the West winning the war?, Sept. 16, 00:03:01RealVideo

Afghan warlord and Hezb-e-Islami leader Gulbadin Hekmatyar, who is fighting coalition and Afghan government forces alongside the Taliban and Haqqani networks, has said that there can be no peace in Afghanistan until NATO and U.S. forces leave. This view is increasingly shared by many saner elements in the region, and is one reason President Karzai is desperately seeking a dialogue with Taliban and others and has already been in touch with Hekmatyar’s people. For his part, Hekmatyar - once feted along with other Mujahideen leaders in Washington and escorted through America's corridors of power by none other than Zalmay Khalilzad [former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan and the U.N.], has offered his own road map to peace. It begins with the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan within a year, to be followed by free and independently-organized general elections. According to Hekmatyar, the need is to bring the fighting to an end to avoid the mistakes that were made when the Russians left. As a commander of the anti-Soviet resistance, Hekmatyar has direct experience of that period.  



Unfortunately, the U.S. continues confused and directionless in its Afghan policy, so it persists with a military-centric approach that is destined to fail. As for Pakistan, it is unable to separate itself from this disastrous American policy and is becoming increasingly embroiled in a policy that is similarly disastrous in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Even NATO members like Britain now realize a need to pursue dialogue to end the Afghan War, and its disagreements with the United States are becoming ever-more apparent. It is high time that Pakistan opts for dialogue with its tribal population in FATA so as to isolate foreign militants and their protégés.



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Meanwhile, the Taliban now declare categorically that not only is Mullah Omar in Afghanistan, but he's leading from the front. Yet sitting in Paris, French Foreign Minister Kouchner declared that, not only is Mullah Omar in Pakistan, but that “everyone” knows it. According to him, Mullah Omar is either in Karachi or Quetta! This is an irresponsible statement since, as before, no proof has ever been provided, which leads directly to the conclusion that this is merely a ploy to target Pakistan.


It is time that Pakistan took a firm stand on such wild accusations given that without its support, NATO and the U.S. would be completely stranded in Afghanistan. It's now the moment for the Pakistani leadership to extricate itself from this misguided American war and commence a holistic policy of dialogue and accommodation backed by military power.

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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US September 16, 7:44pm]


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