Pakistan has role in Afghan resolution : US

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has a role to play in Afghan reconciliation  process and a political element is important to resolving the ongoing conflict in  Afghanistan, according to a senior United States envoy.  Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke rejected  the assertion that Pakistan army is opposed to Afghan reconciliation.“I do not have personal evidence or intelligence that supports that interpretation of what has been going on,”Holbrooke told CNN in an interview when host of the GPS program suggested Pakistan was resisting current efforts towards a peace deal  between the Taliban and Kabul. His remarks came as The Washington Post, quoting unnamed Pakitstani officials,  reported that Islamabad wants a larger role in Afghanistan negotiations process, aimed at  helping a way out of the nine-year old conflict.Holbrooke said the Afghansitan situation cannot be resolved militarily alone and  that some kind of political element is essential to a resolution of the war.  “We have our goals. We have our strategy. It is of the most vital importance to  our national security interests, and it directly affects the homeland security of our  nation, as everyone knows. And we are determined to see it through,” he said of the Obama  administration’s resolve to implement its Afghan strategy.
President Barack Obama, the envoy said, “personally oversees every critical  detail refer—related to our homeland security.”  At the same time, he cautioned against overblown and premature interpretations of  the Afghan reconcilaiton effort launched by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. He did not see  the current contacts constituting negotiations between two warring parties in the  traditional sense.“And I am—I’m not in the spin patrol of the people who are giddy with optimism  on the op-ed pages of some papers or the people who say it’s another Vietnam and it’s  hopeless. It’s certainly not another Vietnam, for reasons you and I discussed before. And  it is certainly not hopeless. But anyone who doesn’t recognize what a daunting task it is  is misleading.”
The American public, he said, should understand that this is not going to be  solved overnight.
“It—it is going to be a difficult struggle. It has a political component,  where you’re not trying to win this war militarily, and a Dayton-type negotiation is also  very unlikely.  “But some kind of political element to this is essential, and we are looking at  every aspect of this. We are talking to all our other nations about it. Forty of them  assembled in Rome with me a week ago.”Holbrooke acknowledged that Taliban has been a part of the recent Afghan  political life.“Everybody understands that the Taliban is part of the fabric of recent Afghan  political life. They were a government that controlled the country until 9/11.  Secretary (Robert) Gates has said this, Secretary (Hillary) Clinton, myself,” he  responded when host Fareed Zakeria asked that the Taliban has to be integrated because it’s part of the Pashtun community.
“Mullah Omar himself, however, was sheltering Osama bin Laden, and that presents  unique difficulties to anyone talking about reconciliation. And this is just something  that we have to examine carefully,” he added.Continiuing, Holbrooke stated :”The Pakistanis also have a role to play here,  and you’ve raised a very important issue. I think we’ll return to it many times in the  coming months, because we’re just at the front edge of it. There’s a lot more in the press about this than there is in reality at this point – App