Kabul (Web Desk): US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells has said that she has been told by her friends in the Afghan government that the Taliban are part of the social fabric of Afghanistan, and believe in the nationhood of country.
Speaking to TOLO News, the US diplomat sought to quash rumours regarding her presence in Kabul, telling a news anchor that she was here in advance of the Kabul peace process.
“The US wants to consult with the Afghan government over how it can support their efforts to promote a politically negotiated settlement in the wake of what have been a series of heinous attacks against the civilian population,” she said.
Commenting on the recent uptick in violence in the war-torn country, Wells admitted that the conditions of the region were not “terribly right”, especially as a wave of bombings have ripped through the Afghan capital over the past several weeks.
“Ultimately the solution to Afghanistan security and stability will lie in a political resolution and not on the military battlefield. Until then, we are going to pressure Taliban and support the Afghan security forces,” the US official was quoted as saying.
Fielding questions regarding the new US strategy for the region, and the role of Pakistan, Wells remarked that President Trump was clear in August when he announced the South Asia strategy that he saw this as an opportunity for Pakistan to secure its legitimate interests through support for a negotiated settlement.
“We see the strategy as an opportunity for Pakistan. The fact that President Trump made the decision to suspend military assistance to Pakistan reflects the level of disappointment that we have not seen more aggressive efforts by Pakistan to disrupt the ability of Taliban to operate across the border,” she maintained.
Asked to elaborate further, the diplomat said that Pakistan needed to be a part of the solution.
“As we continue our dialogue, and we have a very important dialogue with Pakistan, it is to achieve the mutual interests of both countries. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan benefit from peace,” she explained.
Wells was of the opinion that the insecurity that had been bred in Afghanistan and Pakistan over the past forty years had been destabilizing for all the countries and has set back the region.
“When you look at levels of inter regional trade and development, war has affected Afghanistan and its neighbours as well.”