Maleeha Lodhi hard hitting speech in UNSC over US allegations against Pakistan
UNITED NATIONS: Peace in Afghanistan could not be restored by the continuing resort to military force and neither Kabul and the NATO coalition, nor the Afghan Taliban, could impose a military solution on each other.
"The promotion of a political settlement and the pursuit of a military solution are mutually incompatible. You cannot kill and talk at the same time," Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's permanent representative to the UN, told the UN Security Council in an open debate on the situation in Afghanistan.
"Another resort to the military option will not produce a result different from the past. It will not break the impasse much less yield a political solution", she said, while urging the Taliban to give up violence and stressing that the other side, too, must display a genuine desire for dialogue.
Ambassador Lodhi said the war, violence and terrorism afflicting Afghanistan were the consequences of foreign military interventions, occupation and imposed war. Sustainable peace in Afghanistan, Ambassador Lodhi said, was only achievable through a negotiated end to the war, a course long advocated by Pakistan.
She said 16 years of war, waged by the world's most powerful forces against an insurgency of irregulars, had not yielded a military solution.
"This failure cannot be explained away by alleging the existence of safe havens for the insurgency across the border," she said.
Denying allegations about the presence of any terrorist safe havens in Pakistan, she said such enclaves do exist in areas of Afghanistan that were not under the government's control.
"There are no such safe havens (in Pakistan)," she said.