Pakistan's Afghan policy flawed, counterproductive: Ahmed Rashid

Posted By: Ani
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Lahore, Jan 14(ANI): Pakistan's Afghan policy is flawed and has proved to be counterproductive for the interests of the country, veteran journalist and renowned author Ahmed Rashid has said.

Rashid also said it was time to say good-bye to the 'double game' that Pakistan had been playing in Afghanistan for a decade.

He made these comments at a roundtable discussion organised by Individual Land, a non-profit Islamabad-based think-tank, which reviewed the decade-long counter-terrorism struggle.

Rashid said Pakistan should wholeheartedly pursue the counter-terrorism struggle and should not be reluctant to launch an operation in North Waziristan.

A coordinated and concerted political and military strategy was the need of the hour in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), he added.

"The problem is that the army is the sole incharge of the policy in FATA, whereas there has to be a significant civilian input in the process," said Rashid.

Lt Gen (r) Talat Masood, who was present on the occasion, said Pakistan must decide now whose war it was fighting.

"If it is the US war than we would disengage ourselves from FATA and if it was Pakistan's war then we must employ a concerted counter-insurgency strategy," he added.

Any counter-terrorism measure should be accompanied by a development package, especially for the education and employment sectors, he added.

Journalist Khaled Ahmed said terrorism had damaged the ideology of the state.

"There are significant signs of eroding the state's writ in rural areas of the country and if not stemmed now, this menace of terrorism will win and the country would lose this war," he said, adding that the Tribal Areas needed a heavy investment in infrastructure. (ANI)

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