Political strategy will define Afghan`s end state: Kayani
Last Updated: Thursday, July 01, 2010, 00:07
Islamabad: In an apparent reference to efforts launched by the Afghan government for rapprochement with the Taliban, Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Wednesday said political strategy and objectives would help "define the end state" in Afghanistan.

Kayani made the remarks while addressing a group of officers at the Command and Staff College in the southwestern city of Quetta.

He called on all stakeholders in Afghanistan to "synergise their efforts towards achievement of common strategic objectives".

He emphasised the "primacy of the political strategy and objectives, which would define the end state".

The "strategic framework must be defined by Afghanistan and must have full Afghan ownership," he said.

Welcoming the appointment of Gen David Petraeus as the new commander of US-led forces in Afghanistan, he was hopeful that efforts to bring peace and stability to the neighbouring country will succeed.

Referring to the appointment of Petraeus as commander of the International Security Assistance Force in place of Gen Stanley McChrystal, Kayani said Petraeus' "experience and expertise... is likely to add value to a complex situation".

"He (Petraeus) is somebody that I have known over the last two years plus and he has full understanding of Pakistan's perspective and is acutely appreciative of Pakistani sacrifices," Kayani said.

Recent media reports have suggested that the Pakistani military and intelligence services are playing a key role in facilitating contacts between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Haqqani militant network, which is based in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region.

The Pakistan Army and government have denied the reports.

Kayani also referred to ongoing operations against the Taliban in the tribal belt adjoining Afghanistan and said the support and backing of the people of South Waziristan is "critical in the build and transfer phase" of the anti-militancy campaign.

He expressed confidence that the people of South Waziristan, like their counterparts in the restive Swat valley, will play a decisive and positive role in bringing stability and peace to the area that the army is now holding.


First Published: Thursday, July 01, 2010, 00:07

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