Afghanistan: Incoming allied forces’ chief wants Pak as part of solution
US President Donald Trump has blasted Pakistan time and again accusing it of not doing enough to rein in terrorists taking shelter in its territory and fighting the Afghan forces and the western troops stationed there but Lieutenant General Austin Miller, the incoming head of the allied forces in Afghanistan, has reiterated "high expectations" from Islamabad which he wants to be "a part of the solution" both diplomatically and in terms of security, Bloomberg reported.
Fifty-seven-year-old war veteran Miller, who is Trump's nominee to lead the allied forces in a war which will turn 17 this October, said the toughest challenge to bring Afghanistan back to shape has been the Pakistan-based sanctuaries that cover the militants taking on the coalition.
Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, June 19, Miller said Pakistan's actions remained "contradictory" although he sympathised with Islamabad for making "many sacrifices" and said "its security forces have fought bravely", the report said. He added that Pakistan's counter-terrorism actions against anti-Pakistan militants were yet to be transformed into solid action against the Afghan Taliban or Haqqani Network taking refuge on its soil.
Last August, Trump was heavily critical of Pakistan's role in Afghanistan saying the US could not afford to overlook the fact that Pakistan was providing safe haven to the terrorists. Besides committing 4,000 more troops for Afghanistan, Trump also suggested that India should play a bigger role in the Afghanistan problem - a declaration which made Pakistan nervous, Bloomberg added.
Miller, who played a leading role in Operation Black Hawk Down in Somalia in 1993, said the focus of the military actions in Afghanistan in 2018 will be on securing credible elections. He hoped that from 2019 onwards, the forces' improved capacity will be able to force the Taliban to come to negotiation.