US' new approach with India, Pakistan will ensure stability in Afghanistan, says State department report

Washington: The US is working on a new approach with India and Pakistan for promoting stability and reconciliation in Afghanis­tan, the State Department has said.

The State Department's annual report on its financial priorities for the new fiscal year highlighted this as a key ingredient of Washington's strategy for South Asia that President Donald Trump announced on 21 August.

"Our approach to South Asia and specifically Afghanistan means new approaches with India and Pakistan to deny safe havens to terrorist organisations," State Department Inspector General Steve A Linick said.

The main purpose behind this new approach was to "create the conditions for reconciliation with the Taliban and a process that supports the Afghan government in providing security for their own people", Linick added.

Representational image. News18

Representational image. News18

The report identified the most serious management and performance challenges facing the State Department and assessed the Department's progress in addressing those challenges, Dawn online reported. This year's report detailed ongoing difficulties in monitoring and overseeing the anti-terrorism assistance programme in Pakistan. The report pointed out that the State Department has no staff in Pakistan for verifying satisfactory contractor performance or monitoring whether required reports were submitted.

Furthermore, the bureau had not adopted a meaningful way to measure progress towards programme goals.

The report noted that difficulties in obtaining Pakistani visa was a contributing factor in the State Department's flawed oversight and monitoring of the anti-terrorism assistance programme there.

It also underlined the measures the State Department could take to improve oversight, including developing and implementing procedures to verify compliance with contract reporting requirements.

The report also identified ways the State Department's own practices contributed to problems, notwithstanding the fact that oversight personnel could not be located in Pakistan.

It also noted that the US mission's security policies restricting staff travel in the country made it difficult to meet Pakistani contacts and audiences, impeding operations or programme implementation.


Updated Date: Nov 28, 2017 15:39 PM

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