Pak warns US against "new great game" in Afghanistan

Islamabad, Jan 13(ANI): Pakistan has made it clear to the United States that it will not become part of any "new great game" in relation to the US' troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is set to begin from July this year.

According to one source, who was privy to the meeting between Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and the visiting US Vice President Joe Biden, Pakistan also rejected the US assertion that certain elements were operating from areas along the Pak-Afghan border, and stated that in fact, the opposite was true, as weapons and financial support were coming into Pakistan, thus adversely impacting the security situation of the country, the Daily Times reported.

Pakistan urged the US to look for a pragmatic solution instead of trading charges, it added.

Islamabad also conveyed to the visiting US Vice-President Joe Biden that it suited Pakistan neither politically nor strategically to open up any new war front in North Waziristan Agency, officials told The Nation on the condition of anonymity.

Biden, who held separate meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and COAS Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, assured the Pakistani leadership that the US fully respected Pakistan's sovereignty.

He assured Pakistan that there would be "no boots on the ground", and also dismissed its apprehensions about US-sponsored foreign intervention through Afghanistan, the report said.

The visiting dignitary made it clear that the US wanted Pakistan to play a key role in bringing peace in Afghanistan, and acknowledged Pakistan's apprehensions about foreign intervention through Afghanistan as "legitimate", the report added.

Terming these meetings as extremely useful high-level consultations, sources said that both sides discussed how to proceed forward on matters related to Afghanistan.

They opined that the US was interested in finding out "Pakistan's bottom line and its intentions" regarding Afghanistan, and stated that both sides also discussed the possibilities of the Afghan Taliban's future political role in Afghanistan. (ANI)

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