Democrats see Pakistan role in South Asian peace

By Ali Imran

WASHINGTON, Sep 5: The Democratic National Committee has released its 2012 platform, which echoes PresidentBarack Obama’s policy goals towards elimination of al-Qaeda safe havens from Pakistan-Afghanistan region and seeks to reassure the world that the UShas no intention of having military bases on the Afghan soil at the end of the lingering conflict.

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



The platform, which is generally viewed as a broad manifesto of political parties, will be officially adopted Tuesday by the Democratic delegates to the Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Specifically on Pakistan, the document says the country can be a partner in peace and stability efforts in South Asia.

The Republican Party had last week approved former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as the party’s candidate, setting the stage for what is being billed as a stiff November 6 presidential election contest against incumbent Obama.  

Under the Obama administration, the Democratic platform claims, the United States has been able to reverse the Taliban momentum in Afghanistan and provide Afghans time and space to build their capacity.

The party says, now, the U.S. is on its way to ending the Afghan war responsibly in cooperation with its allies.

“Now we have begun the process of bringing our troops home from Afghanistan, including removing 33,000 by September 2012. And, with the support of our allies, the President has outlined a plan to end the war in Afghanistanin 2014.

“Already, the United States and our North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies have begun to transition responsibility to Afghan security forces. At the same time, we are keeping up the pressure on the Taliban, pursuing the possibility of a political resolution to parts of the conflict, and continuing our capacity- building efforts.”

Beyond 2014, the platform envisions Democrats’ continued counterterrorism and training assistance and to build an enduring relationship with Afghanistan, as outlined by the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement concluded in May.

“But we will not build permanent bases in Afghanistan,” it declares.

More broadly, the Democratic Party indicates that a re-elected Democratic Administration “will also continue to support peace and stability in South Asia.”

 “Pakistan can be a partner in that process. The United States will make clear that we respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and democratic institutions, and that our interest is in putting an end to al-Qaeda’s safe havens and respecting Afghan sovereignty.”

At their convention last week, the Republican National Party, led by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, endorsed a platform , pledging to revive the “historic” US-Pakistan ties, which, it noted, have suffered under the weight of Afghan war.

The Democrats, citing Obama Administration’s success, say in the platform that “al-Qaeda core in Afghanistan and Pakistan has never been weaker.”

The platform recalls that as a candidate, then-Senator Obama  “committed to bringing Osama bin Laden to justice, even if that meant crossing the border into Pakistan.”

As a consequence of the President Obama’s decisions and the brave work of American military and intelligence professionals, Osama bin Laden can no longer threaten the United States and al-Qaeda’s senior leadership has been devastated, rendering the group far less capable than it was four years ago, it adds.

“The al-Qaeda core may be on the path to defeat, but the organization and its affiliates remain active in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere. For that reason, we are committed to an unrelenting pursuit of those who would kill Americans or threaten our homeland, our allies, our partners, and our interests around the world.”



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