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'War in Afghanistan is becoming ever more a Gordian knot.'

8 October 2011

'War in Afghanistan is becoming ever more a Gordian knot.'

Ten years after the start of the war in Afghanistan, the conflict has only become more complex and more dangerous. What began as a war against a single country has grown ever more into a regional conflict, and because of this a lasting solution is disappearing further and further over the horizon.

This was the conclusion drawn by SP Senator Arjan Vliegenthart on the basis of the discussion in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly taking place this weekend in the Romanian capital of Bucharest. Vliegenthart: “Last week Afghan President Hamid Karzai decided to suspend negotiations with the Taliban, because in his eyes these talks make no sense as long as Pakistan is supporting the Taliban. The conflict is thus becoming ever more a regional affair. NATO has no answer to this and as a result remains an obstacle on the path to a more peaceful Afghanistan.'

At the same time Pakistan, represented during the meeting of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly by Senator Naeem Hussain Chattha, blames the international community for the fact that it has become, in its own view, the victim of a war it never asked for and for which it has paid a huge price in terms of violence, the influx of refugees, and economic disruption.

“The existing picture is one of a Gordian knot. Pakistan and Afghanistan point the finger at each other and NATO’s current strategy is tying the knot ever tighter. The NATO strategy is leading to an escalation of violence, rather than to its scaling down, which would be an absolute precondition if we are to come to any solution. That’s one of the very few issues on which the various parties involved seem to be in agreement.”

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