Pak-Afghan ties key to regional stability: US

Published July 14, 2014
The  Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Chaman, Balochistan. — File photo
The Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Chaman, Balochistan. — File photo

WASHINGTON: The stability of the entire region requires cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan, two top US military commanders have told Congress.

At their confirmation hearings this week, an admiral and a general, who are taking over the command of US forces in Afghanistan and other key regions, also pledged to encourage the two nations to work with each other.

Gen John F. Campbell, who has been nominated to lead American forces in Afghanistan, noted that Pakistan was postured to occupy a significant role in the security situation in Afghanistan.

Admiral William Gortney, who has been nominated to head the US Northern Command, told lawmakers that it was critical for the United States to have a partnership with Pakistan.

know more: Pak-Afghan ties

Gen Campbell agreed with the suggestion, saying that Pakistan would also continue to be a critical US partner in the South Asian region.

“If confirmed, I will continue to work with the Afghan military and the Pakistan military to continue to ensure that we can reduce” the differences between the two countries, Gen Campbell told the US Senate Armed Services Committee. He said he would also like to ensure that there was “great mil-to-mil” cooperation between the Afghans and Pakistanis. “They got to continue to work that,” he added.

Responding to a question, he said Pakistan’s first priority was its eastern border with India. “But it also continues to be concerned over growing Indian influence in Afghanistan. Pakistan is and will continue to be a critical partner in the region,” he said.

The general noted that both Afghanistan and Pakistan faced common threats from the terrorists who attack their civilian populations and threaten their long-term development. He urged both nations to work together to reduce cross-border militancy and resolve their differences.

This approach would not only enhance their security but will also bring stability to the entire region, he said.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2014

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