Afghan partition would cause "civil war" again: NATO

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Brussels, Sept 16 (ANI): NATO has dismissed former American national security adviser Robert Blackwill's suggestions that a conflict in Afghanistan could be resolved by partitioning the country on ethnic lines and handing over the Pashtun south to the Taliban, saying it was a recipe for civil war.

"The Taliban have national ambitions they have made that clear time and time again," Rasmussen said. "If you want civil war in Afghanistan again, this would be a good way to get it," the Daily Times quoted NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as telling a news conference.

"I believe it's important to address these proposals early and clearly," he said, pointing towards Blackwill's proposal.

Rasmussen emphasised it would be a mistake to assume that the Taliban would be satisfied with the Pashtun south, and that Al Qaeda was wiped from Afghanistan, just because its fighters had taken refuge in neighbouring Pakistan.

He also conceded it was not possible for NATO to defeat every last Taliban fighter. "That's not the idea. But we can keep them under pressure, prevent them from achieving their political goals and train Afghan forces to do the same. And that's exactly what we are doing," he said.

Blackwill, who was Condolezza Rice"s deputy National Security Adviser between 2003 and 2004, proposed that Afghanistan should be divided on ethnic lines, as it was impossible to defeat the Taliban in their southern heartland or to weaken them sufficiently to force them into negotiations.

"The Taliban are winning, we are losing. They have high morale and want to continue the insurgency. Plan A is going to fail. We need a Plan B... Let the Taliban control the Pashtun south and east, the American and allied price for preventing that is far too high," Blackwill said. (ANI)

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