KABUL: The conflict in Afghanistan, which entered its 17th year this month, will not end with a military victory, says the US ambassador to the country.
“No one in the US government is saying at this point that we expect this conflict to end with a military victory,” John Bass said in an interview published on Sunday.
On the sidelines of the 2nd India-Afghanistan Trade and Investment show in Mumbai, the diplomat told The Economic Times that the war wound eventually end with a political settlement.
He said Islamabad had had indicated earlier in the year its willingness to discuss the resumption of trade between Afghanistan and India via Pakistan.
Bass acknowledged Indian firms’ investing in Afghanistan’s growth. The 2017 trade show in Delhi had brought $27 million of investments at the event itself, and another $200 million of prospective investments from Indian companies.
A political solution to the Afghan imbroglio was in Pakistan’s long-term interest. “Increased trade in both directions, increased connectivity through central and south Asia through Afghanistan – those are all missed opportunities if Pakistan has its sole focus on perpetuating the status quo.”
During last week’s visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, the Indian government had raised the issue of US sanctions on Iran and its possible negative impact on the Chabahar port, he confirmed.
“We are processing and evaluating how best to reimpose sanctions on Iran… My government is still thinking through how Chabahar factors in the reimposition of the toughest sanctions,” the diplomat said.—NNI