UK doesn’t want Pakistan to attack Haqqanis: Mark Sedwill

Published: November 25, 2011
Envoy urges Islamabad to just reduce their threat and bring them to negotiation table with NATO.

Envoy urges Islamabad to just reduce their threat and bring them to negotiation table with NATO.


Urging Pakistan to use its influence to get the Haqqani network to come to the negotiation table with Nato and enter a reconciliation process, British Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Mark Sedwill said, “We don’t want Pakistan to take military action against the Haqqani group. We understand the challenges it faces on that front, all we want from Pakistan is to do its utmost to minimise the threat.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has already made that offer to the Haqqani network and it is in Pakistan’s strategic interest to play its role, Sedwill said while speaking to The Express Tribune, adding that Pakistan is absolutely clear that a stable Afghanistan is in the country’s strategic interest.

Sedwill, who has held discussions on security issues with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha, said the outcome of the discussions with his Pakistani counterparts was “encouraging”.

Appreciating Pakistan’s role as the frontline state in terms of loss of human lives, and with Islamabad’s already debilitating economy on one hand and drone attacks on the other, Sedwill said it is in Pakistan’s interest to realise that insurgency in the country would end only once there is enduring stability in Afghanistan.

Regarding Pakistan’s apprehensions about the political vacuum that might leave Afghanistan prone to another takeover by radical and criminal groups, he said, “We don’t want to see that part of history repeated.”

Najibullah’s regime survived three years after the Soviet withdrawal because of Moscow’s continued economic support, Sedwill said, adding that was why Nato forces wouldn’t withdraw abruptly and would ensure continued funding to maintain economic and military sustainability.

Foreign forces in Afghanistan will “cease combat role by 2014” and the drawdown process will be completed by the mid-20s. During this period the dialogue process with neighbours will continue.

Nato, US and Britain will sign long-term partnerships with the Afghans and Afghanistan’s neighbours to demonstrate their willingness to underwrite enduring stability in the region, he said. Training of Afghan officer corps and funding of the Afghan national army is one of those partnerships.

Bringing about political reforms in Afghanistan as it approaches elections in 2014 is another example of the partnership for peace effort, Sedwill said. Political reforms will make the state more capable of absorbing the insurgency through a reconciliation effort by offering insurgents political motivation to enter politics within the constitution through a reconciliation process.

Nato wants to achieve a situation where Afghanistan is on a stabilising path and will underwrite that with a commitment at the Bonn Summit and then in Nato’s Chicago Summit in May.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Hamid
    Nov 25, 2011 - 9:43AM

    This is absurd. One NATO nation wants us to attack and the other asks us to not to attack. ABSURD


  • Rehman
    Nov 25, 2011 - 9:44AM

    Good suggestion. ISI should bring the Haqqani network to the negotiating table to end the 10 year long so called war on terror.


  • Sami
    Nov 25, 2011 - 9:54AM

    Indian trolls will cringe now


  • Taha Ali Adil
    Nov 25, 2011 - 10:20AM

    Thanks GOD, Finally they realized why ISI is acting Harshly on topic of Haqqani Network.

    sit and fix the issue in the eyes of ISI.


  • Faizi
    Nov 25, 2011 - 12:32PM

    Both Countries should made a strategy

    This clearly shows the interest of UK in Pakistan and its neighbor brotherhood state Afghanistan. The world has there own interests in Asia. 1st the both countries should sit on a table of dialogues and prepare a strategy and then they move on together. So then it may be possible to start negotiations with the Haqqanis or militants at the both sides of the borders… !!! __ !!! …


  • kamran Moeen
    Nov 25, 2011 - 12:42PM

    finally, some sanity


  • antanu
    Nov 25, 2011 - 1:36PM

    A sensible advise after repeated “DO MORE” by US.


  • Straight_Talk
    Nov 25, 2011 - 2:10PM

    USA sought Pakistan as a hired fighter, Britain wants Pakistan to be a middleman. Any guess what China seeks of Pakistan? North korea or Tibet? Pakistan has great future indeed.


  • Nov 25, 2011 - 2:12PM

    They have more ground sense than rowdy americans with war rhetoric.


  • M Salik
    Nov 25, 2011 - 3:10PM

    The British have more Brains than America and Pakistan Recommend

  • Aryabhat
    Nov 25, 2011 - 3:11PM

    BTW, someone should ask which Haqqanis Mr Sedwell meant? :-)


  • j. von hettlingen
    Nov 25, 2011 - 3:41PM

    That the British Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Mark Sedwill came to hold talks with different top government bodies in Islamabad shows how eager the Americans are, to thaw the atmposhere. They realise the pivotal role Pakistan plays in Afghanistan and their carrot and stick approach didn’t seem to work. They hope the Brits would succeed better with diplomacy.


  • Anserali Khan
    Nov 25, 2011 - 5:50PM

    Let US and British first sought it out: attack or no attack


  • Nasir
    Nov 25, 2011 - 7:09PM

    When US failed to get what it wants from Pak, the middleman came into action.


  • Khalid
    Nov 25, 2011 - 8:19PM

    He needs to speak with USA first and bring the no objection certificate before speaking on sensitive policy matters.


  • guest-worker
    Nov 25, 2011 - 8:19PM

    Just bring the camel to the water w’ll bribe him to drink itRecommend

  • Cautious
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:21PM

    Typical of the Brits — sounds great but when you examine closely it doesn’t hold water. This is the same approach that the American’s were striving for yrs ago — but the American’s slowly realized that Pakistan doesn’t have the influence that it touts. The Haqqani realize that Pakistan doesn’t have the guts to take them on militarily and doesn’t have the clout to stop the American drone attacks — in short Pakistan doesn’t have the leverage or carrot to bring the Haqqani to the bargaining table.


  • Straight_Talk
    Nov 26, 2011 - 3:19AM

    @Nasir: All i want to say is these are substandard jobs for a nation like Pakistan. Pakistan is a big nation. There are far smaller and feeble nation who do not allow such comments about them.This is a typical British way of humiliating Pakistan. This is also a way of defaming Pakistan further internationally by evidence-based linking with the Haqqanis and to blame Pakistan for any future attack in Afghanistan.


  • sid rush
    Nov 26, 2011 - 5:14AM

    UK: While you do this us, might as well tell us where they are for US drones.


  • Mawali
    Nov 26, 2011 - 5:25AM

    Now you are making sense. It is not in Pakistan’s interest to fight a war that is not thiers to begin with.


  • akhter
    Nov 26, 2011 - 11:08AM

    if we are hired fighters of america brits are thier hired usa bullets are cheaper than cigarettes they are finding markets for it. afg has become a good market it is turn for oil riched countries this way they earn money as well as can prove islam an angry religion


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