'John McCain has poor sense of history': Khawaja Asif hits out at US senator for comparing Afghanistan with Vietnam war

Washington: Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Asif has slammed powerful Republican senator John McCain for comparing the war in Afghanistan with that of Vietnam.

"Senator McCain was drawing parallel between Vietnam and the war in Afghanistan. Let me remind him through this forum, he has a poor sense of history," Asif said while speaking at the US Institute of Peace, a Congress supported think-tank.

Asif's remarks surprised the audience mainly because McCain has often come to the defence of Pakistan and has been opposed to taking any punitive measure against the country. McCain, the Chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, is known as a friend of Pakistan.

File image of Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Asif. Reuters

File image of Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Asif. Reuters

A former Republican presidential candidate, McCain is widely respected across the political spectrum and in the American military establishment. The reason for Asif's outburst against McCain was not immediately clear.

Asif said that when the Americans took over the Vietnam War, they had actually lost the war from day one.

"Because in Indo-China the French were too clever for the Americans. They handed over a lost war, a losing war to the Americans. And the Americans were too happy to fight for one and half decade a war which had no end," he said.

And then they had to bomb Laos and Cambodia for having sanctuaries, he added.

"There were many many other causes. So let's not play to the galleries. Let's not play to your constituents. Let's face the verdict of history. The verdict of the history was that you perused a folly in Vietnam and you lost it," he said.

The verdict of history will be that if the way the Afghan problem is being pursued, the United States will lose Afghan War also, Asif said as he expressed his opposition to the new South Asia Strategy of the Trump Administration.

In fact, the US has already lost the war, he said. "You are just trying to salvage the situation over there."

Asif also warned that pursuing a military solution will force the Taliban and ISIS to join hands. "That will be the biggest curse for us to face, for the region to face. We don't want to see that situation happening in our region. So that is why we want to cooperate with the Americans with full vigor, honesty and commitment," he said.

Asif also claimed that Pakistan is the only country which is fighting and winning the war against terrorists.


Updated Date: Oct 06, 2017 12:12 PM

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