Afghanistan ISAF commander nominee wants to address issue of safe havens in Pak

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 16, 2012 06:00 hrs

Nominee for the next ISAF Commander in Afghanistan, General Joseph Dunford, has said that he believes the issue of safe havens in Pakistan needs to be addressed, but is willing to "support any initiative that will bring resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan".

Gen. Dunford said that Pakistan has it's bets placed on what the long term commitment of the US to Afghanistan will be, adding that Pakistan's calculus will change if the US is there beyond 2014.

Gen. Dunford had been nominated by President Barack Obama to take over as the next ISAF commander, replacing incumbent Gen. John Allen for a period which will oversee a key phase in the US drawdown from Afghanistan, reports The Express Tribune.

The nomination had been announced in early October, before the current scandal involving Gen. Allen and a Department of Defense (DoD) investigation on whether he sent emails to Jill Kelley, who was allegedly harassed by Paula Broadwell, who had an affair with the now former CIA Director David Petraeus.

Gen. Dunford was of the view that an unstable Afghanistan would be of significant risk to Pakistan. He also said that the relationship between India and Pakistan is critical for stability in the region.

Gen. Dunford further said that the ground lines of communication through Pakistan are the most efficient and inexpensive way to get the US' equipment out of Afghanistan.

Commenting on IEDs, he said that the materials used in the production of IEDs come from Pakistan, but he was encouraged by the coordination with Pakistan on the border recently, which he said is also stems from the fact that Pakistan also recognises IEDs as a threat.

Gen Dunford though said that a healthy dialogue with Pakistan would be important in progressing on the matter. (ANI)

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