U.S. must stay in Afghanistan or face new 9/11, top general urges

Posted December 08, 2018

Earlier in November, US President Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan engaged in a heated exchange on Twitter over bilateral relations.

He said a wrong impression had been created by the country's leadership in the past that Pakistan would be harmed if it did not fight someone else's war in Afghanistan.

"Like the US, Pakistan too seeks peace in Afghanistan which is in its interest as well", the PM said, as he assured his government "will do its best".

He said: "The exchange was about being blamed for deeply flawed USA policies - the military approach to Afghanistan".

More than 17 years after the USA invasion, Washington has stepped up its bid for talks with the resurgent Taliban with a flurry of recent diplomatic efforts.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed the desire for a "proper relationship" with the United States, and not one where his country is "treated like a hired gun" to fight others' wars.

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He said Iranian Foreign Minister Jawwad Zarif also paid a visit to Islamabad and discussed the modalities for Yemen peace process.

In the letter, Trump said a settlement is "his most important regional priority", the Pakistani foreign ministry stated. "Now I'm happy that everyone realizes there is only a political solution", he said. "We do not want to have conditions imposed on us which would cause more unemployment and inflation", he explained. The US has satellites and drones.

Shireen Mazari, the country's human rights minister, said on Twitter the 18 groups were responsible for spreading disinformation.

"India rebuffed all my overtures because they have elections and the ruling [BJP] party has an anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan approach", he added. "The US has basically pushed Pakistan away".

However, the Western-backed government's security forces have struggled to counter attacks from the Taliban and other militant groups since the withdrawal of most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation combat troops.

As the USA continue to ask Pakistan to do more regarding the reported terror sanctuaries in the country, the PM asserted that "there are no sanctuaries in Pakistan" as he ruled out the presence of Taliban in the country.

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Trump's letter was followed by a visit from U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has said he hopes a deal can be in place before the Afghan presidential elections, set for April next year. "Resolving that case is in our interest because it was an act of terrorism".

He maintained that he wanted the case of the Mumbai attacks to be resolved, adding that he has "asked our government to find out the status of the case".

If Pakistan had stayed neutral after the September 2001 terror attack in the United States, Pakistan would have saved itself from devastation, Khan said.

"Exxon has come back to Pakistan after 27 years, and they're doing a big exploration for us".

"Were we not to put the pressure on Al-Qaeda, ISIS (Islamic State) and other groups in the region we are putting on today, it is our assessment that, in a period of time their capability would reconstitute, and they have today the intent, and in the future, they would have the capability to do what we saw on 9/11", Dunford said when asked about a potential withdrawal of the U.S. military contingent from the war-ravaged country.

"I had gone on television and warned everyone that we will stand by the Supreme Court verdict", he recalled. "The head of the TLP then passed a death sentence on the Supreme Court judges and kept saying that they should be killed".

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