John McCain: 'No peace in Afghanistan without Pakistan's cooperation'
Senior US Senator John McCain said during a visit to Islamabad that there could be "no peace" in Afghanistan or the South Asian region without Pakistan's cooperation. He said both India and Pakistan should resolve the Kashmir issue in a peaceful way through dialogue. McCain is the chairman of the US Senate Armed Services Committee and an important voice on national security policy.
McCain says US-Pak relationship 'more important than ever'
"Peace and stability in Afghanistan is not possible without Pakistan's help," McCain said. McCain met Pakistan's top foreign policy official Sartaj Aziz and army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, following which, he said the US' relationship with Pakistan "is more important perhaps than ever before." Aziz said the US-Pak partnership "was critical to achieve peace and stability in the region and beyond."
McCain's visit comes as Trump considers hardening stance on Pakistan
McCain's visit comes as the Trump administration reviews its policy towards Afghanistan. As part of this, Trump is reportedly considering taking a harsher stance against Islamabad over attacks launched by Pakistan-based militants in Afghanistan. US is frustrated by Pakistan's inaction against terrorist outfits such as the Taliban-linked Haqqani network. Yet, the US needs Pakistan as it has a major influence in Afghan developments.
Pakistan selectively fights terror, supports militants against India and Afghanistan
Pakistan rejects charges of inaction, saying it has helped the US immensely to track down terrorists. Pakistan has also pointed out that it has also suffered thousands of deaths from Islamist terrorism. However, countries such as India and Afghanistan have pointed out Islamabad's duplicity. Islamabad selectively targets terrorist organizations that threaten Pakistan but continues to support and harbour those that target India and Afghanistan.