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U.S. working with India on AfPak: Petraeus

File photo of U.S. Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus. The U.S. has been working actively with India with regard to the situation in the AfPak region, the top American General said on Friday.  

The U.S. is trying to reverse the momentum of the Taiban in Afghanistan and has been working actively with India with regard to the situation in the AfPak region, a top American General has said.

“It (India) is not in the title (of Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke), but he has certainly had a lot of activity with our Indian partners,” General David Petraeus, Commander of the U.S. Central Command, told the Charlie Rose Show on the PBS.

Appreciative of the recent Pakistani military operation against the Taliban and al-Qaeda along the Pak-Afghan border, Gen. Petraeus said the U.S. forces in Afghanistan are trying to regain the momentum in the country.

“It (Taliban) has been resurgent. It did indeed have the momentum. And what we’re trying to do now is reverse that moment and take back areas they have been able to take control of,” Gen. Petraeus said.

The American General said that defeat of the Taliban in Kandahar is very important for victory in the war against terrorism.

“It really is the birthplace of the Taliban. It is also where the 9/11 attacks were originally conceived. That’s where they were planned. So it has enormous importance to the Taliban,” he said.

“It will not be a hub-to-hub offensive. This is not going to be something like the clearance of Ramadi or, say, southwestern Baghdad. This in fact is as much political as it is military,” he said.

Responding to a question on Pakistan, Gen. Petraeus said there has indeed been considerable progress by the Pakistani Army and frontier corps against the Pakistani Taliban in the country’s northwest, including Swat and tribal areas, but clearly it is a very tough work.

“And again, the extremists there, the Pakistani Taliban and their confederates, have sought to fight back by doing what they do, which is carry out acts of indiscriminate violence against innocent civilians as they did before, as well, as they assassinated Benazir Bhutto and blew up visiting cricket teams and thousands and thousands of innocent Pakistani civilians and security force members,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 11:13:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/U.S.-working-with-India-on-AfPak-Petraeus/article16372174.ece

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