Coalition forces urged not to leave Afghanistan in haste | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 01, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 01, 2010

Coalition forces urged not to leave Afghanistan in haste

The Pakistani government warned foreign forces on Thursday not to leave Afghanistan "in haste", saying Islamabad was committed to its role as a US partner in the battle against extremists.
Washington is urging Pakistan to crack down on militant strongholds along its border, but US President Barack Obama unnerved many officials by vowing to begin drawing down US forces in Afghanistan in July 2011.
"The decision to leave Afghanistan should be taken when it is able to look after itself effectively," foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told a press briefing.
"Stability and peace in Afghanistan is in our strategic interest... We are therefore engaged with the US in ensuring that the new US Afghanistan policy delivers," Basit added.
"Coalition forces should not leave Afghanistan in haste."
Islamabad has expressed concern that Obama's new war strategy, announced in December, could destabilise the region if forces leave before Afghanistan is able to counter a virulent Taliban insurgency alone.

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