Pak will welcome withdrawal of US forces from Afghan

Pakistan on Thursday said it would welcome the withdrawal of US and allied forces from Afghanistan but said the world community would have to ensure that the move does not plunge the neighbouring country into anarchy or civil war.

Last Updated: Nov 25, 2010, 21:12 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said it would
welcome the withdrawal of US and allied forces from
Afghanistan but said the world community would have to ensure
that the move does not plunge the neighbouring country into
anarchy or civil war.

"We will welcome the withdrawal of coalition forces
from Afghanistan as and when it happens. Obviously, we would
not like Afghanistan to be left on its own in the sense that
we would like this process to go ahead in tandem with
stabilisation in Afghanistan," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul
Basit said.
He was responding to a question at the weekly news
briefing on the possible increase of India`s influence in
Afghanistan following the phased withdrawal of foreign forces
that is expected to begin next year.

Pakistan does not want Afghanistan to "once again
plunge into anarchy or civil war", he said.

"So we hope that by 2014, the coalition forces would
be able to have developed the Afghan National Army and other
security forces of Afghanistan, enabling them to take full
charge of the country," he added.

At a NATO summit in Lisbon last week, the 48 countries
with troops in Afghanistan agreed to begin transferring
security duties to local police and military and move Western
troops into a supporting role by the end of 2014.
Basit said Pakistan has tried to help the process of
bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan because it has
"very high stakes" in the neighbouring country.

In response to another question on media reports about
the US seeking to extend drone attacks to Quetta and other
parts of the southwestern Balochistan province to counter the
activities of the Afghan Taliban, Basit said Islamabad was
opposed to all drone attacks.

"We have differences of views with the US on this
issue. There is no question that Pakistan would allow drone
attacks in Balochistan or any other part of the country," he
said.

Pakistan has been underlining the "importance for the
Obama administration to revisit this policy because this is
not helping our counter-terrorism efforts", he added.

PTI