Trump's Afghan vision uninspiring, but sensible

More surprising was Trump's blunt challenge to India and how he linked Afghanistan's economic revitalization to totally separate U.S. In his speech Trump had declared that the USA "can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond".

Besides, he said, Pakistan will have a major say in the solution of the Afghan problem.

Further, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif complained that Washington was using Pakistan as a scapegoat to cover up its military failings in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is a key buyer of Chinese weaponry.

Top US officials at a briefing on Wednesday at the US Institute of Peace (USIP) repeated several times that US considers Pakistan an "important partner" that shares many common interests and enemies. (One Indian columnist quoted Jay Leno to bolster his point: "Obama announces he'll bring the troops home in 18 months; the Taliban says they will keep fighting for 19.") Your choice to become an insurgent depends not just on where you live, but on your evaluation of the chances of winning in a well-defined timeframe.

Despite all the talk of playing the China card against the US, Pakistan is acutely conscious of the dangers of being treated as a rogue state by the West. Much of that money goes toward supporting counter terrorism efforts and capabilities. "I think the worldwide community should truly affirm" the efforts by Pakistan in combating terrorism.

In his Monday address to troops at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia, Trump offered few specifics, but he did outline reasons for his decision to extend and expand the United States presence in Afghanistan, a reversal from his strident past criticism of previous administrations for involvement there.

"The announcement that the Trump administration plans to increase cooperation with India couldnt come at a better time", Cramer said. Then he added his advice to India to help stabilise Pakistan.

"Instead of relying on the false narrative of safe havens, the United States needs to work with Pakistan to eradicate terrorism", it added.

Analyst Rahimullah Yousufzai told AFP: "On one side America is asking for Pakistan's support and on the other side asking India".

At his Tuesday afternoon news briefing, Mr Tillerson also asked India to remove the reasons that create unstable elements inside the country.

The army spokesman also told the Afghan media team that the border crossings with Afghanistan, which were still closed, would be reopened in six to nine months after all measures were taken to ensure border security. However, it will not change the policy of Pakistan towards Kashmir.

"We want Pakistan to be able to do more and we intend to work with those countries for an Afghan-led peace process", the State Department official added.

"We believe that the global community should fully recognize Pakistan's anti-terrorism", she told a daily news briefing.

  • Leroy Wright