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Olson underlines Pak role in Afghan peace drive

Olson underlines Pak role in Afghan peace drive

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Mar 26, 2013 - 10:30

WASHINGTON (PANinfo-icon): (PAN): Pakistaninfo-icon can be “very helpful” in the Afghan-led reconciliation process, America’s top diplomat said Monday, insisting Islamabad had been supportive of the effort.

Reconciliation was a major challenge in Afghanistaninfo-icon, US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson told a Washington audience.

“The question that remains out there and where there's still a challenge is on the question of reconciliation or a political settlement, if you will, and this is an area where I think Pakistan can be very helpful,” Olson said.

The US and Afghanistan, he said, were committed to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of reconciliation. “We're trying together to get an office open in Doha that would allow for those Afghan-to-Afghan discussions.

“I'm happy to say that Pakistan has been very supportive of our efforts on reconciliation, and I think it's not too much to say that Pakistan can play a key role in Afghan reconciliation going forward,” Olson added.

 The ambassador said Afghan forces are making considerable progress. “We have put in place a number of measures to make sure that Afghanistan has the best chance it's ever had in its history.

“We're building up the Afghan forces to a level of 352,000. It's an increasingly capable force that is taking the fight to the enemy, increasingly planning and leading operations, needs some help on the critical enablers,” he said.

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