Musharraf: Don't Abandon Afghanistan Again

Time limits won't work, says former Pakistan leader
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2009 10:20 AM CST
Jubilant Afghan guerrillas stand on a captured Russian armoured personnel carrier during the war between Afghanistan and the USSR.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Pervez Musharraf comes out of retirement with an op ed piece today, arguing that a time limit on American involvement in Afghanistan is repeating the mistakes that put the country in the hands of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. A political strategy needs to be found that will stabilize the country long-term, the former Pakistani president writes in the Wall Street Journal, blaming the invasion of Iraq for a shift of focus from Afghanistan that allowed the Taliban to gain ground,

Dialogue is needed with all ethnic groups in Afghanistan, Musharraf writes, suggesting that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia help reach out to the Pashtun majority. "Pakistan and Afghanistan were shortsightedly abandoned to their fate by the West in 1989," despite their victory over the Soviets, Musharraf writes. "This abandonment led to a sense of betrayal amongst the people of the region. For the sake of regional and world peace, let us not repeat the same mistake."

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