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
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
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
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.