While recognising Pakistan’s security interests in Afghanistan, the US envoy for the region says that it doesn’t mean that Islamabad has the right “to determine what happens next door”.

At the same time, Richard Holbrooke, Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, underscored the importance of Pakistan’s participation in successful outcome of the conflict in Afghanistan.

“For our part, our focus on Pakistan is based on the fact that we recognize — and this has not been recognized in the past — that Pakistan has legitimate security interests in its neighbour with an undefined border, and those have to be taken into account,” he said in a hearing on the Capitol Hill before his travel to the region.

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But at the same time, nobody is saying that Pakistan has the right to determine what happens next door. It is simply that we hope they can get along, and we’ve been encouraging that. And we believe that recent dialogue between Islamabad and Kabul has been beneficial,” he told the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Holbrooke also praised the sacrifices made by Pakistan in fighting the terrorists. “We cannot forget that the Pakistani people and armed forces have made huge sacrifices as part of this fight,” he said.

“In the past month alone, scores of innocent Pakistanis have been killed or wounded in suicide attacks. Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis have also had their lives upended.” (The Nation)