US to stabilize Pakistan, Afghanistan, not to walk away: state department


Washington : The Obama Administration is engaged in a series of discussions to map out the best way forward in Afghanistan and remains unwavering in its resolve to help stabilize the conflict-hit country as well as the Pakistani border region, the State Department said Friday.

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“We’re talking about how to best carry out that commitment, how we can best serve our interests and those in the region. But I have heard no one say that we are prepared to walk away from Afghanistan or Pakistan or the region, expressly because it is in our interest,” Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J Crowley said.

He told reporters at the daily briefing that the ongoing deliberations and reviews are part of the enduring commitment to the region.

Crowley spoke in the backdrop of calls for the U.S. to stay engaged in the region and not repeat the mistake of abandoning the two countries as it did in 1989 after the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan.

“I have heard no U.S. Government official, from the President down to your modest spokesman, say that there’s anything but a long-term commitment to the region and a long-term commitment to Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

The top U.S. officials, he said, are looking at the situation on the ground.

“We’re looking at the implications of the (Afghan) election results to be determined here in the next few days. We’re looking how best to make sure that we are coordinating our activities on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border.

“So this is, in fact, part of a long-term commitment. We are in year nine of this effort. And we will continue until we believe that we have done what we’ve got to do, which is to provide a stable – help build a stable government in Afghanistan, until we have helped Pakistan stabilize the situation on its side of the border,” Crowley added.