Pak critical for successful solution to Afghan conflict: Ex-ISI chief

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Islamabad, Jan.28 (ANI): Continuing his rhetoric, former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lieutenant General (retired) Hamid Gul has said the United States can not succeed in Afghanistan by sidelining Pakistan, and only Pakistan can help the international forces led by America to pull out safely from the region.

In an interview with PakObserver, Gul said the US has virtually been defeated in Afghanistan, and it has now realised that the only way to end the conflict was through dialogue with the Taliban.

"The West has its hands tied to a certain extent and Pakistan knows this. Any successful solution in Afghanistan needs Pakistan on side," Gul said.

He pointed that if the US vacates Afghanistan after failing to deal with the Taliban, then Pakistan would find it much easier to tackle India's increasing presence and expanding role in the region.

"If the US and its allies withdraw from Afghanistan after failing to defeat the Taliban, then Pakistan would be better placed to confront India should it continue to try and exert greater influence there in any potential power vacuum," the former ISI chief said.

"The exit of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan will be a great blow to Indian ambitions in Afghanistan," Gul said.

He also rubbished Indian Military Chief General Deepak Kapoor's statement that India was capable enough of tackling both Pakistan and China simultaneously.

"This is not doable, this is sheer madness," Gul said.

He also lambasted Washington for supporting New Delhi, saying the strategic alliance between both the countries is not cordial despite all the favours the US was doling out to India.

"India is on the wrong side of history. The ground reality is that despite all the pampering of India by the United States, India's strategic alliance with the United States has gone into doldrums, as China's role in the world and regional politics is increasing. India has become unbalanced and disenchanted," Gul added. (ANI)

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