International

Af-Pak concept inherently flawed, says Gilani

EMOTIVE ISSUE: Supporters of Pakistan's Labour Education condemn U.S. drone attacks in Waziristan on Friday.   | Photo Credit: K.M.Chaudary

Evidently addressing the image problem that Pakistan has in the comity of nations, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday said his country was engaged in correcting historic wrongs made by others in the region that has “suffered intractable conflict arising out of power play orchestrated from outside''.

In an interactive session with the Diplomatic Correspondents Association of Pakistan, Mr. Gilani lamented that for far too long, countries in the region have been hostage to circumstances created by global strategic power play. And, Pakistan has “withstood alone'' the burden of “tectonic and cataclysmic'' shifts in the international strategic and political landscape.

Arguing that Pakistan has high stakes in Afghanistan's stability and prosperity, the Prime Minister said Islamabad favoured an Afghan-led and Afghan-driven reconciliation process. “Without peace in Afghanistan, there can be no peace in our region.'' Conceding that the destinies of the two countries are inter-twined, he rejected the Af-Pak concept as inherently flawed as the circumstances in the two countries are distinct. Asked if Pakistan was in the loop in the efforts at reconciliation with the Taliban, Mr. Gilani indicated that Islamabad expected the Karzai government to discuss the plan with it, the U.S. and Pakistan's Army. Stating that Kabul had not informed the U.S. till now, he added that talks which did not involve Pakistan would not be successful because Pakistan was a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.

On the controversial drone attacks, Mr. Gilani said permission had been given “much earlier'' for reconnaissance and surveillance flights by the Predators. “But, never for attacks.'' Denying reports that the U.S. drones were operating from an airbase in Sindh, he reiterated that drone attacks were counter-productive as they undo the work done by his government and the Army to separate tribesmen from Taliban fighters. The drone attacks unite tribesmen and militants, he said adding that instead the U.S. should transfer drone technology to Pakistan or share credible and actionable intelligence with the Army to take action.


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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 7:30:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Af-Pak-concept-inherently-flawed-says-Gilani/article15788234.ece

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