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No Afghanistan solution without Pakistan

By Haris Afzal on Friday, September 30, 2011 with 0 comments

No Afghanistan solution without Pakistan: Mullen

WASHINGTON: There can be no solution to the conflict in Afghanistan without Pakistan, the top US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, said Friday as

he stepped down from his post.

"I continue to believe that there is no solution in the region without Pakistan, and no stable future in the region without a partnership," Mullen said at a

ceremony to handover to the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey.

"I urged Marty to remember the importance of Pakistan to all of this, to try and do a better job than I did with that vexing and yet vital relationship," Mullen

added in remarks.

"Our strategy is the right one. We must keep executing it."

Last week Mullen accused Pakistan of exporting violence to Afghanistan through proxies and charged that the Haqqani network, an Al-Qaeda-linked

group, was a "veritable arm" of Pakistani intelligence.

His comments triggered new tensions with Washington's uneasy ally, Islamabad, with Pakistani leaders closing ranks against US pressure for action

against the Haqqanis and refusing to be pressured into doing more in the war on terror.

Mullen also told Dempsey at the ceremony at Fort Myers in Virginia that "his biggest challenge is going to be Afghanistan" where more than 100,000

American troops are due to hand over responsibility for security to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.

The challenge would be "in seeing this critical transition through to its completion, in making sure that the security gains we have made are not

squandered by the scourge of corruption or the lack of good governance that still plagues the country," Mullen said.(AFP)

Category: World News

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