Pakistan to have role in lasting Afghan solution, says ex-US general

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 11, 2013 11:20 hrs

Pakistan would have a role in any lasting solution in Afghanistan, a former commander of US and NATO forces in Kabul, wrote in his book-'My Share of the Task'.

General Stanley McChrystal, while discussing his role in the Afghan war, also explained why he believed it was important to have close working relations with the Pakistani army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, reports The Dawn.

McChrystal had to retire in 2010 after his aides made disparaging remarks about US President Barack Obama.

He said that although his mandate as a NATO commander was limited to inside Afghanistan, it was clear to him that Pakistan would have a role in any lasting solution.

He further said that ideally, joint ISAF and Pakistani efforts would convince Afghan Taliban leaders that their sanctuaries in Pakistan were no longer secure and thus their insurgency could not succeed.

He noted that effective Pakistani army operations in FATA along with increased levels of coordination with ISAF forces were necessary in order to produce this kind of rethink inside Mullah Omar's organisation.

But the Pakistani army had its limitations as FATA was a region where the Pakistani military had traditionally struggled, he wrote.

McChrystal also emphasised the need to reduce "the oft-discussed deficit of trust" between the US and Pakistan, but said that it could only be reduced "over time and personal relationships would be essential to that process".

By building as much trust as possible between Kayani and him, McChrystal hoped that confidence between the two armies would "cascade to some extent" down through to their subordinates.

He also described how the November 2008 Mumbai attacks affected America's attitude towards Pakistan. (ANI)

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