Need to solve ‘Pakistan problem’: Gordon Brown

January 4th, 2009 - 5:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownLondon, Jan 4 (IANS) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Sunday that solving the “Pakistan problem” is crucial to an Afghan strategy.Asked if more troops were needed in Afghanistan, Brown told BBC in an interview: “We [Britain] have already got more troops there but we need to solve the Pakistan problem.”

“We need to ensure that there’s an economic stake in the country in Afghanistan and we’ve got to back up the Afghan army - at some point they’ve got to take control of their own affairs.”

In a separate interview with The Observer newspaper published Sunday, the British leader said British forces are endangered by the ability of terrorists to move to and fro Pakistan.

“As long as there are terrorists going back and forward from Pakistan to Afghanistan… then this is a huge danger for our British forces.”

“Afghanistan’s got to take more responsibility for its own affairs, but Pakistan’s got to be involved more directly in the battle against this terrorist inrush into Afghanistan,” he said.

“It’s about how we can gradually move Afghan army and police into more control of their own affairs, and get central government moving in Afghanistan,” Brown added.

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