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U. S will hunt down terrorists on Pakistani soil says Zalmay Khalilzad, former U S envoy to Afghanistan

Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations, leads a panel discussion on Afghanistan at the Conservative Political Action conference (CPAC) in Washington, February 12, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Kabul: In a sensational interview the Former U.S Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has said by taking out Mullah Akhter Mansour in Balochistan the U.S has launched an aggressive anti terror policy wherein it will chase and hunt down terrorists who seek refuge in Pakistan.

In an interview to the Arienna TV Network in Kabul Ambassador Khalilazad said “This taking out of Mullah Mansour in Pakistan is a good step to deal with Pakistan’s two faced policies “. Khalilzad added

“What is important is that for the first time America has hunted down a Taliban leader who had sought refuge in Pakistan “. This policy is a reiteration of the policy under which Osama Bin Laden was taken out in 2011.

Ambassador Khalilzad warned that if Pakistan continues with its double-faced approach, lack of cooperation and cunningness in terms of its policies and play around with the world, it will be isolated like North Korea.

He said, “I think Pakistan is heading towards isolation; the assistance of America is reducing and the relationship with America is becoming more problematic. Similarly, the world and its allies like China which is its close ally (of Pakistan) is becoming dissatisfied by these policies… Pakistan always target its friendly country, which can become the reason for it to go the way of North Korea.”

“The step which has been taken by U.S.A. against Mullah Mansoor is not the final step. This is the first step, and we are hoping that in future, other steps will also take place. We are hoping that America will cut down its economic and military assistance to Pakistan, and in future, America may take decision to pressurize international organisations like the World Bank and the IMF to disconnect from Pakistan,” he added.

Ambassador Kalilzad said that there was a need for Pakistan to introspect that how to respect the sovereignty of other countries.

“If this President of America doesn’t take this decision, the next President of America will take this decision. We are confident and believe that Mr. Obama has finally reached to an opinion that a must needed step should be taken regarding Pakistan,” he added.

The former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan cited three key reasons for Washington’s change of policy (1) America is a very different country, it has patience for long time, but when it loses this patience, it takes very severe initiatives; (2) Pakistan’s decision not to respond or to repeatedly violate the sanctity of various talks and MoUs with the United States, Afghanistan and China and (3) Elections are under process in United States, and Pakistan not cooperating and yet getting aid, has become an internal issue. The U.S. Congress is very angry at the implementation efforts of Pakistan.

“All these reasons are important and one important reason is that America ran out of patience,” Khalilzad said.

Khalilzad also pointed out that the role of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) can never underestimated insofar as the internal affairs of the Taliban are concerned.

“The issue of replacement of Mullah Mansour is important. The point is that what does Pakistan want? Does Pakistan want to make Taliban a terrorist group or make it political group towards progress and development. If Pakistan wants to make it a terrorist group, Sirajuddin (Haqqani) can be elected whose group is a world known terrorist group. The role of the ISI is not only in electing the Taliban chief, but if the ISI wants, this group cannot come together also, the former envoy told the Afghan channel.

He added that following the killing of Mansour, the ISI shifted some people who would be help to them (Taliban).

“The ISI has the main role and the world knows what ISI does. The time for Pakistan’s cunning diplomacy has gone. Now, the ISI cannot say that we don’t have any role in this and claim that the Taliban is doing everything itself. Technology and establishments of the world have progressed much, and that is why, our advice through this channel and other mediums to Pakistan is that the time has come to change in their policies. God forbid Pakistan must not continue with its wrong policies due to which Afghans have suffered a lot,” Khalilzad said.

He also said that it is far from reality that the United States supports the ISI, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

On the issue of Mullah Mansour reportedly being in possession of a Pakistani passport, and that he had been travelling to Iran to meet with Russian officials, Khalilzad said, “I can’t believe these facts because these facts have been disclosed by Pakistan. These facts cannot be accepted as 100 percent correct. If we consider it true for a while, then I can say that every country does their diplomacy and has strategies. This is not important; what is important is that what Afghanistan is doing and what are the policies and strategies of Afghanistan.”

He said Afghanistan must get ready to act against its enemies and any group supported by ISI in the near future, because the real danger has started after the death of Mullah Mansour. (ANI)