Pakistan Cautions U.S. on Two-pronged Offensive
The key element in the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan is to launch a two-pronged military offensive that inflicts a military defeat on the Taliban and forces them to join the Afghan reconciliation process on Kabul’s conditions, diplomatic sources told Dawn news.
U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis at his weekend briefing at the Pentagon urged Islamabad to cooperate with the U.S. in defeating the Afghan Taliban.
Pakistan fear that a major military offensive, without engaging some Taliban factions in direct talks first, could be counterproductive. The Taliban might outlive this offensive too, and deal with it “lying low in their mountain fastness, as they did with previous offensives”, one interlocutor said.
And in the process Pakistan will lose whatever influence it has. With all lines of communication closed, the Taliban will become even more dangerous, particularly for Pakistan, which has always faced the blowback of previous adventures in Afghanistan, whether launched by the Russians or Americans, the report said.
This article was originally published by The Hindu -
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Opposed To US 'Finger-pointing' At Pakistan On Terror-related Issues: China
BEIJING: China on Monday said it is opposed to the US "finger-pointing" at Pakistan+ and linking it with terrorism, insisting that the responsibility of cracking down on terror outfits cannot be placed on a particular country.
China's support for its all-weather ally came as the US stepped up its efforts to pressure Pakistan to eliminate terror safe havens on its soil.
The US last week suspended approximately $2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan for its failure to take decisive action against terror groups like the Taliban and the Haqqani Network.
"China has always opposed linking terrorism with any certain country and we don't agree to place the responsibility of anti terrorism on a certain country," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing.
He was responding to a question on a White House official's remarks that China could play helpful role in convincing Pakistan that it was in its national interest to crackdown on terror safe havens.
"We have stressed many times that Pakistan has made important sacrifices and contributions to the global anti terrorism cause," Lu said.
"Countries should strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation on the basis of mutual respect instead of finger-pointing at each other. This is not conducive to the global terrorism efforts," he said.
China has been vocal in extending support to Pakistan since US President Donald Trump increased rhetoric against Islamabad providing safe havens for terrorists.
Trump in a New Year's Day tweet accused the country of giving nothing to the US but "lies and deceit" and providing "safe haven" to terrorists in return for $33 billion aid over the last 15 years.
Chinese media has been speculating that Trump's efforts to step up pressure on Pakistan may move it closer to Beijing as China is involved in a number of projects in the country under the $50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
This article was originally published by
Times Of India
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