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Stable Pakistan necessary for stable Afghanistan, says Miliband

July 29, 2009 15:14 IST

Stressing that a stable Pakistan is essential for a stable Afghanistan, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Wednesday, applauded the Obama administration's effort at re-balancing the US-Pak relationship. "We need a more stable Pakistan to get a more stable Afghanistan. That's why I really applaud what President Obama and Secretary Clinton are doing in terms of re-balancing the US relationship with Pakistan as well," Miliband told PBS news in an interview.

Arguing that there can't be a long-term military "solution" to the problem in the region, Miliband said the military can only create the space for sustainable politics and sustainable governance. "We are not trying to create a colony in Afghanistan. We are trying to ensure that Afghan government is legitimate and, on August the 20th, elected Afghan government is able to defend its own country," he argued. After the United States, Britain has the second largest foreign troops in Afghanistan, which Miliband said, is in Britain's national security interest. "After all, nearly three-quarters of the terrorist plots that have been either taken place or foiled against the UK have their links into the badlands between Afghanistan and Pakistan," he said.

"Our clear mission there is to help Afghans provide the security to defend their own country. At the moment, they can't do that on their own. That's why British and other coalition forces are there," Miliband said. Observing that Afghanistan has been the chessboard for other countries for a very long time, especially its neighbors, he said: "We need a political strategy for the neighbours of Afghanistan, above all, Pakistan, if we are to stabilise the country which, after all, was the incubator of terrorism that struck with such deadly effect in the United States in September 2001."

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