NATO losing war in Afghanistan: Zardari

August 3rd, 2010 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban London, Aug 3 (IANS) NATO-led coalition forces are “losing the war” against the Taliban in Afghanistan, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said Tuesday, ahead of his visit to Britain.
On the eve of his meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Zardari warned the international community that it had “lost the battle to win hearts and minds”, The Daily Telegraph reported.

In an interview with a French newspaper, Zardari said the US and Nato-led coalition forces had “underestimated the situation on the ground” in Afghanistan.

“I believe that the international community, which Pakistan belongs to, is in the process of losing the war against the Taliban,” he said just hours before meeting French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris Monday night.

“And that is, above all, because we have lost the battle for hearts and minds.”

He said he thought that while the Taliban had “no chance of regaining power, its “grip is strengthening”.

Zardari also criticised leaders who doubted Pakistan’s commitment to fighting militants, in what some viewed as criticism of Cameron.

Cameron, who is due to meet the Pakistani president Friday, had warned Islamabad against promoting “the export of terror”.

During a visit to India last week, Cameron suggested that Pakistan was not doing enough to fight terrorism, prompting outrage in Islamabad, which summoned the Britain’s envoy Monday.

“It is unfortunate that certain individuals continue to express doubts and fears about our determination to fight militants to the end,” Zardari said. “Such fears will only weaken the international effort to fight militants and extremists.”

Zardari told Sarkozy that it was “unfortunate if some people continued to express doubts and misgivings about our will and determination to fight the militants to the finish”.

Zardari arrives in Britain this week facing accusations that he is using a meeting with Cameron as a smokescreen for an attempt to shore up his political dynasty, at a time his country is struggling to cope with its worst floods in 80 years.

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