WASHINGTON: Stabilising Pakistan and defeating Al Qaeda are America’s main strategic interests in South Asia, US Vice President Joseph Biden said on Tuesday. He stressed the need for a long-term partnership with Pakistan.
In an interview to MSNBC television channel, Mr Biden also emphasised the need to work with Pakistan to undo the Haqqani network and defeat the Pakistani Taliban.
Also on Tuesday, The New York Times reported that the US and Pakistan were at odds over the Haqqani network, which is headed by a militant leader called Sirajuddin Haqqani, because Islamabad has turned down Washington’s demands to help dismantle the terrorist outfit.
The report claimed that while the Americans believed the network was responsible for attacking US forces in Afghanistan, Pakistanis saw this group as a ‘strategic asset’.
In his interview to MSNBC, Mr Biden pointed out that in his policy speech on Dec 1, President Obama had clearly laid out US national interests in the Pak-Afghan region: ‘Defeating Al Qaeda and stabilising Pakistan.'
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