`Engagement with Pak vital for stability in Afghanistan`

NATO thinks a positive engagement of Pakistan will help in ensuring stability in Afghanistan.

Updated: May 10, 2011, 17:04 PM IST

Washington: A top NATO official has
argued in favour of continued engagement with Pakistan, saying it is important for long term stability of Afghanistan, despite that the killing of Osama bin Laden at his Abbottabad
hideout has raised a number of questions on Islamabad.

"The facts that Osama bin Laden apparently was hiding
for so many years in Pakistan, obviously raises a number of
questions to be answered. I feel confident that the Pakistani
government also has a clear interest in convincing answers to
these questions," NATO Secretary General Fogh Rasmussen told
Fox news in an interview.
"My bottom line is that despite all potential tensions
in our relationship with Pakistan, we need a positive
engagement of Pakistan if we are to insure long-term peace and
stability in Afghanistan and in the region. So I think we
should do our utmost to engage Pakistan positively," he said.

Noting that one cannot exclude the possibility that
there will be attempts in Pakistan to distract attention from
the bin Laden event, he said things should be out into a
greater perspective.
"We have a shared interest in combating terrorism and
extremism. We should never forget that Pakistan herself has
also been the victim of terrorism. We need an increased effort
from the Pakistani side when it comes to the fight against
terrorists in the border region between Pakistan and
Afghanistan," he said.

"This is the region by my conclusion is that we should
do our utmost to further enhance our cooperation are
Pakistan," he observed.