Washington, United States Ambassador-designate to Pakistan Richard Olson has said that Islamabad has moved away from the old concept of finding strategic depth in Afghanistan.
“This has been a doctrine that Pakistanis over the years have talked about strategic depth and, one of the ideas that Afghanistan represents strategic depth against a potential conflict with India. My sense is that the Pakistani military and Pakistani government has moved away from that,” The Dawn quoted Olson, as saying.
Olson, who until recently served as a senior diplomat in Kabul, cited to Capitol Hill Pakistani actions as well as the avowed policy statements by its leaders to move away from the old thinking.
“Pakistan”s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has made some public comments about moving away from the doctrine of strategic depth,” he said.
“Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has redeployed his forces internally to deal with the internal threat, and heavily towards the border (with Afghanistan) to deal with the threats emanating from that region,” he said.
“So, I think, there is a basis at a strategic level for some further discussion with the Pakistanis. I think these are frankly positive developments that we would like to encourage, as Pakistan looks to its strategic position,” he added.
The comments came days after Pakistan”s Ambassador to the U.S. Sherry Rehman strongly advocated to a major security forum that Pakistan has no desire to treat Afghanistan as its strategic backyard.