Washington, Feb 2(ANI): The coalition forces can still win the ongoing war in Afghanistan even if Pakistan does not launch a military operation against terror sanctuaries in North Waziristan, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command (IJC) has said.
"That's not a mission stopper in my mind," Lieutenant General David Rodriguez said at a Pentagon news briefing, referring to the debate in Washington whether Pakistan needs to go to North Waziristan.
"And again, everybody, whether it be the Pakistani leadership, the U.S. leadership or the international leadership, is all focused on that issue now about Pakistan and encouraging them to do more and we are, too," he added.
Rodriguez, who also serves as the deputy commander of United States Forces in Afghanistan, said while they needed Pakistan's military "to do more", and would "encourage them to do more because that makes it easier on what we're doing," "but I think it's still doable without them, you know, decreasing what they've been doing the past year, which is significant, again."
When asked if "it's not militarily significant if they don't go into Waziristan," Rodriguez replied: "Well, again, it's about the whole thing. If they go into every place but North Waziristan, that would be significant and would be really helpful to us, even if they didn't go into North Waziristan."
When reminded about his comments about Pakistan not having to go into North Waziristan in order for the military to have success, the general reiterated, "It wasn't going to be mission failure, yes."
To a follow-up question that would the US then not have to 'at least either continue or increase its efforts there to avoid North Waziristan from becoming a pretty solid safe haven,' Rodriguez replied: "Yes, absolutely. Again, it's not that we don't want them to do any of those things."
"And all the international community is focused on that because they know that we need, you know, more support from Pakistan to make this easier. And again, it's all linked. So yeah, there has to be some plan, some way and some effect to decrease the impacts of that safe haven," he added.
When asked that the US 'obviously has taken some action in there in various ways', so whether it have to increase that, Rodriguez said: "It really depends, again, on how-what they do. If it continues to get worse, that's a different situation." (ANI)