WASHINGTON - Describing Pakistan’s support as imperative to the success of US’ South Asia strategy, US Central Command Chief General Joseph Votel has said there has been an increase in communication and information sharing.
In a statement, he made before Congress’ Armed Services Committee, the US General also described the “political uncertainty” in Afghanistan as the greatest risk to the stability in the country as the Afghan government continues to suffer from a professional governmental capacity deficit.
“We have preserved our valuable military-to-military relationship with Pakistan and attempted to increase transparency and communication with influential military leaders,” the General told the lawmakers, adding that they were also keep pushing their concerns so secure US interests.
General Votel said security along the border with Afghanistan will remain a priority in 2018 as Pakistan seeks to expand border control mechanisms and efforts to improve paramilitary security capabilities.
“Recently we have started to see an increase in communication, information sharing, and actions on the ground in response to our specific requests — these are positive indicators,” he added.
Stressing the importance of Pakistan in ensuring the success of President Trump’s South Asia strategy, General Votel said that Islamabad’s cooperation was imperative for the strategy’s success.
He said that the supply routes that Pakistan provided for transporting logistics to the US forces in Afghanistan remained critical for the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan.
He again madean oft-repeated allegation about militant safe havens in the country’s border region.
However, the US general admitted that Pakistan had made many sacrifices in the war against terrorism, including important contributions in significantly degrading AQ and combatting ISIS-K.
He said that the Pakistani military had also undertaken several high profile and effective counter-insurgency operations in North Waziristan and other parts of the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) against terrorists.
The General emphasized that achieving long-term stability in Afghanistan and defeating the insurgency would be difficult without Pakistan’s support and assistance.