KARACHI: ‘It is in Pakistan’s interest to involve other regional countries like China, Iran and Afghanistan’s immediate northern neighbours to bring peace in Afghanistan. In this connection, the format of ‘Troika Plus,’ involving United States, Russia, China and Pakistan, can prove very useful.’
This was stated by Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, veteran politician and former Pakistan foreign minister, in an exclusive interview with the U.S. award-winning magazine SouthAsia.
In his in-depth interview, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri has shed light on the withdrawal of American security forces from Afghanistan and repercussions for the region, particularly Pakistan. He said the U.S. withdrawal has its own consequences and Pakistan and Iran, being in the Afghan neighbourhood, will be directly affected.
Sharing his views about the shift in American policy towards Pakistan, Khurshid Kasuri said the US needed a punching bag to explain its failures in Afghanistan and Pakistan proved to be the right ‘fall guy’.
“It had become very clear that through the reports of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), appointed by the Unites States, there was massive corruption, misappropriation and misuse of U.S. funds in Afghanistan. However, the truth was not very digestible, the American public was told that it was largely because of Pakistan’s lack of cooperation,’ he added.
In reply to a question about India’s role as a spoiler of Pakistan’s interests in Afghanistan, Khurshid Kasuri said that India has been helping Afghanistan, covertly and overtly. “Until the 90s, India was receiving foreign aid and it is not a country known for giving aid to other countries.
However, India has been providing all forms of aid and assistance to Afghanistan, since New Delhi has used its aid to Afghanistan to support elements opposed to Pakistan, including the Tehreek-e-Taliban”, he said.
“India’s geography is a major hindrance towards achieving its sinister objectives in Afghanistan. India’s desire to get on the anti-China bandwagon may backfire, since Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries, China and Iran have interests which are at variance with those of India and the United States. Russia is also not happy with India’s pro-American approach,” according to Khurshid Kasuri.
Along with the interview of Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, many distinguished writers have also contributed their articles in the August issue of SouthAsia. Among them are American scholar Christine Fair, Sabria Chowdhury Balland, a member of the U.S. Democratic Party and Lt. General (R) Talat Masood.