Instability in Afghanistan may lead to ‘more terrorism’ in Pakistan, warns Moeed Yusuf
WASHINGTON: National Security Advisor (NSA) Moeed Yusuf has warned that the ‘instability’ in Afghanistan may lead to “more terrorism, refugees and economic hardship for Pakistan”.
“Afghan instability could lead to more terrorism, refugees and economic hardship for Pakistan,” Yusuf was quoted by The Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin in the article “Pakistan wants to be treated like an ally, not a scapegoat”.
Rogin urged Washington to seriously consider “Pakistan’s offer of cooperation” and slammed American media on the coverage of Islamabad’s alleged support to the Taliban.
“Right now, in the situation we are in, how are US and Pakistan’s interests not aligned?” wondered Yusuf.
“I’m not asking for any sympathy for Pakistan,” the NSA said. “I’m thinking in terms of pure US selfish national interests. How does it help to push away a country of this size, stature and power?” he asked.
The Pakistani NSA reminded the columnist that Pakistan is a victim of the US war on terror that began after 9/11.
“Pakistan is the victim. We had nothing to do with 9/11. … We teamed up with the US to fight back … and after that there is a major backlash on Pakistan,” Yusuf said.
The NSA shared with Rogin that Pakistan was letting “all that pass”, and urged that Islamabad and Washington need to work out on moving forward as partners as neither side can work without the other to stabilise the region.
Yusuf also slammed the Ashraf Ghani-led government in Kabul for using Pakistan as a ‘scapegoat’ to hide its “ineptitude, corruptions and unpopularity”.
“Pakistan helped bring the Taliban to the negotiating table at Washington’s request, [but we] got cut out of the negotiations and are now being blamed for the outcome,” Yusuf told Rogin.
He also asked the author whether Pakistan told the Afghan National Army to surrender or ask Ashraf Ghani to flee from Kabul.
“The entire state collapsed in a week. So somebody was lying, somebody was misreporting, or somebody was mistaken about the reality and when it came to informing the taxpayers of the western world,” said Yusuf.
Taliban does not need Pakistan: Yusuf
The Pakistani NSA called on the Joe Biden administration to not isolate Afghanistan or punish the new rulers of the country.
“Now that the Taliban has the whole country, they don’t really need Islamabad as much anymore,” he said. “Assistance and recognition is the leverage. Who has that? It’s the Western countries that have much more leverage in Afghanistan than Pakistan.”
The NSA told Rogin that Washington needs to must learn from the lessons of the 1990s when it abandoned Afghanistan or face a similar outcome.
“If a security vacuum is left in Afghanistan by abandoning it, you will see that these terrorist organisations take root again. Let’s not kid ourselves,” Yusuf said.
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