Husain Haqqani, the Pakistani ambassador to Washington, says he believes the U.S. won’t walk away from Afghanistan.

Giving an interview to NPR (National Public Radio), Pakistan’s envoy to USA, Haqqani said he believes that whatever the outcome of the war against al-Qaida, the U.S. won’t abandon Afghanistan to its own devices the way it did after the defeat of the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

“My understanding from interactions with senior officials in the United States is that the Obama administration does not wish to walk away from Afghanistan, that it understands the cost of doing so and that nobody wants a Central Asian Somalia or a failed state as a legacy,” he said. “After all, they don’t want anybody plotting and planning attacks against America sitting in Afghanistan.”

Haqqani also made a case in favor of Pakistan’s insistence for Predator Drones, saying his country would rather have technical expertise with which it can combat militants on its border with Afghanistan than have the U.S. fire missiles into Pakistani territory.

“Pakistan prefers to do everything on the Pakistani side of the border itself,” Haqqani told NPR’s Robert Siegel. “And the reason is very simple: We have a military capability in certain areas and in some areas we lack certain technical capabilities and we would like that technical capabilities for ourselves.”
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Pakistani public opinion against U.S. missile strikes by unmanned drones is very high specially because of civilian casualties. Haqqani said “You must also understand that when you have unmanned aerial vehicles drop missiles, taking out people, and it infuriates public opinion, then obviously the Pakistani government has to stand by Pakistani public opinion.”

Pakistan observers believe there exists a tacit agreement between Islamabad and Washington that allows U.S. Drone strikes inside Pakistan while maintaining denialiility and giving Islamabad the levy to criticize these strikes.

The U.S. says it will give Pakistan unmanned drones for spying and intelligence gathering.

Security along the Afghan-Pakistan border remains a major concern while a conference is under way in London.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who is attending the conference, unveiled Thursday a plan to woo Taliban fighters away from the insurgency. Observers say it is a prelude to Afghan Exit Strategy.