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Taliban being utilized by Pakistan as a hedge against India: US official

Pakistan is not using the full extent of its influence to encourage the Afghan Taliban to come to the table, a top US military official said Tuesday.
Taliban being utilized by Pakistan as a hedge against India: US official
AVA- Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie, who is the Pentagon’s pick for the next commander of US Central Command, said that the Taliban are still “being utilized as a hedge against India rather than as part of a stable, reconciled Afghanistan.”
Responding to questions from US lawmakers, McKenzie, said that Pakistan was needed for long-term stability in Afghanistan and could play a key role in facilitating talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
The comments come despite US President Donald Trump recently asking for Pakistan’s help with Afghan peace talks in a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Commenting on the Afghan forces, McKenzie said that they are fighting hard, “but their losses are not going to be sustainable unless we correct this problem.”
Last month, President Ashraf Ghani said that more than 28,000 Afghan forces had been killed since 2015, when Afghan forces assumed full security responsibility.
McKenzie said that Afghan forces were not capable of securing their country without help from US troops.
“If we left precipitously right now, I do not believe they would be able to successfully defend their country,” McKenzie said.
Thursday 6 December 2018 06:32
Story Code: 175379 Copy text available
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