TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

U.S. insists it needs Afghan deal in place

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

Daily Photo Galleries


By From Wire Reports

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 8:54 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The United States is pressing Afghanistan to sign a bilateral security agreement for troops to remain in that country, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Wednesday, a day after the director of national intelligence said he did not expect the pact to be signed.

“We continue to seek the BSA. We continue to press the Afghan government to sign the agreement,” Carney said.

The United States wants to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after the pullout of most foreign forces at the end of this year, but has warned it could pull out all of its troops unless the pact is signed soon.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign the security agreement so far.

National Intelligence Director James Clapper told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing he did not believe Karzai would sign it and said Washington should simply wait until a new president is chosen in Afghanistan's April election.

Carney said the United States cannot make plans for troops to stay in Afghanistan without the security deal.

“This was an agreement negotiated with the Afghan government, in good faith, over a long period of time. And it ought to be signed. We're not renegotiating it,” Carney said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is bracing for a worst-case scenario that may unfold as early as July in which about three million refugees from Afghanistan cross the border in a 20-day span, according to a person familiar with government plans.

The scenario might occur if Taliban militants start killing candidates in the run-up to Afghanistan's presidential elections in April, creating an unstable environment when Karzai steps aside a few months later, the person said. The timeline is underpinning Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban, the person said.

Pakistan will conduct a military operation to flush out militants in Waziristan and other border areas if negotiations fail, the person said. It will be too difficult to conduct an offensive against Taliban and al-Qaida fighters after June because of a possible refugee crisis, the person said.

Sharif began talks last week with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan to end violence that has killed more than 40,000 citizens since 2001. Failure to contain Taliban militants as the United States reduces troop levels in Afghanistan risks worsening the world's biggest protracted refugee situation and derailing Sharif's efforts to revive South Asia's second-biggest economy.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Iran blasts ambassador visa denial
  2. U.N. Security Council views purported photos of Syrian war dead
  3. Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi to serve time helping seniors
  4. 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria; militants blamed
  5. Ukraine bares teeth as troops repel rebels
  6. North Korean embassy officials in London pay visit to salon owner
  7. Russian military spending increases
  8. Iran president ends monthly cash payment to 90 percent of citizens
  9. Pistorius testimony elicits laughter from prosecutor, warning from judge
  10. Journalists: Egypt trial a joke
  11. $36M ‘chicken cup’ cracks auction record for Chinese art
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.