International Affairs

New U.S. policy for Pakistan, Afghanistan faulty: Wajid

LONDON: Pakistan’s High Commissioner in London Wajid Shamsul Hassan has criticized the new U.S. strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan and defended his government’s agreement to impose Nizam-e-Adl Regulation in Malakand region. He said his personal view was that U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan for fighting Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, which broadens the focus to Pakistan, was the “wrong strategy”.

“Pakistan is a semi-developed country and Afghanistan is not at all developed.

They have never had any rule of law in their country,” he told a foreign news agency in an interview late on Thursday. “You can’t club the two countries (together),” he said.

Washington views Pakistan as crucial to its efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, where a Taliban insurgency has intensified. Surging militant violence in nuclear-armed Pakistan has also raised fears about its future. Hasan said Clinton was “rather overstretching the issue.”

“We will not allow Pakistani territory to be abdicated to anybody. We will fight for every inch and hopefully when President Zardari goes to the United States he will take it up with Hillary Clinton because we need your (U.S.) assistance,”

“Some of these Taliban when they went on the rampage they destroyed girls’ schools and they stopped women from working, which is now not the case after the agreement. Things have become normal. Girls are going to school, women are back to work,” he said.

Pakistan had to tackle economic deprivation that fostered dissatisfaction, he said, saying it was encouraging that international donors last week pledged $5 billion in aid to Pakistan. Nevertheless, he said Pakistan needed more money. “The best course would be to have Marshall plans for both Afghanistan and Pakistan so that Pakistan could be rebuilt,” he said, referring to the U.S. post-World War Two plan for Europe.

Input from Agencies

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Mubashar Nizam

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