Pushtoon leader presents grim picture of Pakistan

Asfandyar Khan favoured joint intelligence sharing mechanism with India.

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2011, 00:51 AM IST

New Delhi: Senior Pushtoon leader of Pakistan
Asfandyar Wali Khan on Thursday presented a grim picture of the
situation in his country and said India could help it by
giving assurances on security of the border.

"Pakistan cannot withdraw force from its eastern border
along India beyond a certain point. We don`t have enough
forces to fight extremists in Swat, Bajour, Bonair and other
places," he said delivering a lecture on `Vision for Pakistan
in 21st Century` at the Jamia Millia Islamia here.

"If we are satisfied that our eastern borders are safe we
can move our forces to fight against inimical elements with
full might," Khan, grandson of `Frontier Gandhi` Khan Abdul
Ghaffar Khan and chief of Awami National Party (ANP), said.

Khan, whose party is a member of Pakistan`s ruling
coalition, favoured a regional solution to Af-Pak problems and
apprehended that these might otherwise spill over to India.

He said invaders who have crossed Peshawar have always
reached Kolkata. "If you have to stop Taliban, extremists or
al-Qaeda, help us to finish them across Indus river.
Otherwise, Delhi not a target too far."

Talking about situation in his country, Khan said, "Even
our funerals are not safe."

He dismissed the suggestion that Pakistan Army was not
targeting groups inimical to India and said it was fighting
against Lashker-e-Toiba cadres in Waziristan.

Khan said Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Kiyani is a
"sincere person" who supports peaceful ties with India.

The ANP chief favoured a joint intelligence and
information sharing mechanism against terrorists. For the
resolution of issues of Kashmir and water, the best way is to
talk and settle them as per a give and take formula, he said.

PTI