Strategy on Afghanistan unchanged: State Dept
WASHINGTON (PAN): The United States on Tuesday asserted that there had been no change in its strategy for Afghanistan even though its relationship with Pakistan had hit a new low as a result of the NATO airstrike on border posts in the Mohmand tribal region.
In retaliation, Pakistan closed the NATO supply route, the lifeline for 140,000 American troops in Afghanistan, asked the US to vacate the Shamsi air base and announced to boycott the Bonn conference.
"We have had a significant incident that took place, but this has not disrupted our overall strategy vis-a-vis Afghanistan, vis-a-vis Pakistan. We're still committed to working with both countries to build a more stable and secure future for both countries,” the State Department spokesman said.
Mark Toner, told reporters the US approach to Afghanistan remained on track. "We are still planning on the Bonn conference. It's not going to be delayed or postponed. We still have, as I mentioned, some 85 nations and some 15 international organizations who will attend."
He agreed involving Pakistan in Afghanistan's future was certainly vital. "And we're going to work towards making sure that Pakistan is, indeed, involved as we move forward. Pakistan has been involved in the past, and we believe it will be in the future."
Meanwhile, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little insisted the incident had had no impact on US operations inside Afghanistan. "War efforts continue in Afghanistan. We do have adequate supplies and we do look forward to finding ways to resolving our differences with Pakistan and developing further cooperation down the road."