Friday, April 26, 2019 | ePaper

`Taliban being utilised as hedge against India`: Top US Commander on Pak

  • Print


"We continue to see Taliban being utilised as a hedge against India," the officer said

PTI, Washington :
Days after US President Donald Trump sought Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's help in the Afghan peace process, a top American commander has told lawmakers that Islamabad's policy seems to be unchanged and it continues to use the Taliban as a hedge against India.
"Pakistan is an essential element in long-term stability in Afghanistan," Marine Corps Lt Gen Kenneth McKenzie Jr told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday during his confirmation hearing for commander of the US Central Command (CENTCOM).
Pakistan could play a key role in facilitating talks between the Taliban and government of Afghanistan, he said, adding, "I would welcome that development. At this time, however, Pakistan does not appear to be using the full extent of its influence to encourage the Taliban to come to the table."
"We continue to see the Taliban being utilised as a hedge against India rather than as part of a stable, reconciled Afghanistan," McKenzie told the lawmakers during his confirmation hearing.
His answers to the Senate Armed Services Committee in response to a set of written questions come a day after it became public that Trump has written a letter to Imran Khan, seeking his help in the Afghan peace process.
"President Trump sent a letter to Prime Minister Khan, requesting Pakistan's full support to the US-led Afghan peace process and Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad's upcoming trip to the region," a spokesperson of the National Security Council, White House, told PTI.
"In the letter, the President recognises that Pakistan has the ability to deny the Taliban sanctuary on its territory," the spokesperson said.
"The letter also makes it clear that Pakistan's assistance with the Afghan peace process is fundamental to building an enduring US-Pakistan partnership," the spokesperson said.
McKenzie told lawmakers that he did not see much of a change in Pakistan's behaviour towards Afghanistan or its stand against terrorist groups.
Despite Pakistan's positive rhetoric in support of the South Asia Strategy, violent extremist organisations or VEOs operate along its border with Afghanistan, he said.
While Pakistan has conducted some operations against VEOs in the country, they must continue to expand these operations and remain aggressively engaged, McKenzie said.

More News For this Category

NKorea ready to denuclearize if it gets guarantees: Putin

NKorea ready to denuclearize if it gets guarantees: Putin

AP, Vladivostok :Russian President Vladimir Putin said after his summit with Kim Jong Un Thursday that the North Korean leader is ready to proceed toward denuclearization - but needs solid

In rare move, French warship passes through Taiwan Strait: Report

In rare move, French warship passes through Taiwan Strait: Report

Reuters, Washington :A French warship passed through the strategic Taiwan Strait this month, US officials told Reuters, a rare voyage by a vessel of a European country that is likely

Prince William attends emotional Anzac Day ceremony in New Zealand

Prince William attends emotional Anzac Day ceremony in New Zealand

AFP, Wellington :Britain's Prince William paid tribute to Australian and New Zealand troops on Thursday at an emotional Anzac Day ceremony, six weeks after the Christchurch mosques massacre.The Prince, in

Japan creates first artificial crater on asteroid

Japan creates first artificial crater on asteroid

AFP, Tokyo :Japanese scientists have succeeded in creating what they called the first-ever artificial crater on an asteroid, a step towards shedding light on how the solar system evolved, the

US records 695 measles cases, most since elimination in 2000

US records 695 measles cases, most since elimination in 2000

AFP, New York: The US recorded 695 cases of measles in 2019, the most of any year since the disease was declared eliminated at the turn of the century, officials

News In Brief

Climate-change protesters block road near Bank of EnglandReuters, London Climate-change activists blocked a road near the Bank of England as part of the 11th day of direct action aimed at

Pro-EU party launches election campaign as UK MPs return from break

Pro-EU party launches election campaign as UK MPs return from break

A new anti-Brexit political party launched its campaign Tuesday for next month's European Parliament elections as British lawmakers returned from their Easter break with rumours of fresh bids to topple

New Zealand offers residency to families of mosque victims

New Zealand offers residency to families of mosque victims

AFP, Wellington : New Zealand opened a two-year window Wednesday for people directly affected by the Christchurch terror attacks to apply to stay permanently in the country.The special visa category "recognises

African leaders urge 'peaceful' transition in Sudan, ceasefire in Libya

AFP, Cairo :Egypt hosted African leaders for emergency talks Tuesday on the upheavals in neighbouring Sudan and Libya, as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned against "a slide into chaos".Sisi, current

Fake German heiress on trial in US for duping people of $275,000

Fake German heiress on trial in US for duping people of $275,000

AFP, New York :A jury in New York on Tuesday began deliberating the fate of a German-Russian woman charged with 10 counts of fraud and theft of $275,000 during the