US security adviser Gen Jones due today

November 12, 2009 by USA Post 

ISLAMABAD: US National Security Adviser James Jones is expected here on Thursday for taking Pakistan into confidence on the Af-Pak policy review.

‘The ongoing review of the Af-Pak strategy would be fairly high on the agenda when Mr Jones meets his interlocutors in Islamabad on Friday,’ a senior diplomat said on Wednesday.

Gen Jones will be meeting Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Interior Minster Rehman Malik, Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI Chief Lt-Gen Shuja Pasha.

There are indications that the national security adviser who earlier commanded US troops in Afghanistan, may discuss a possible exit strategy for the US and allied forces from the war-ravaged country.

The adviser had alluded to this in a recent interview, saying: ‘But we also need a better plan with the allies to gradually turn over responsibility for the country to Afghan institutions and organisations in as short a time as possible.’

The Obama administration is in the middle of a review process with the president and his aides evaluating the overall situation in Afghanistan.

Diplomatic sources suggest that the Americans have generally agreed on a minimum number of additional troops that would be dispatched to Afghanistan in response to ISAF Commander Gen McChrystal’s call for 40,000 troops.

‘The Obama administration is reluctant to agree on the figure of 40,000, but may settle for something close to 25,000 more soldiers for Afghanistan.’

Additionally, the revised policy is likely to place a lot of emphasis on good governance, checking corruption, economic development and enhanced security because there is fair realisation in the administration that augmenting the troop levels was not the ultimate solution to the imbroglio.

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