US President Donald Trump on Friday hoped that Pakistan will help the US in Afghanistan as peace talks with the Taliban has apparently entered its last phase. “We’re doing very well, as you know, with Pakistan. I met a gentleman who I liked a lot—as you know—last week, from Pakistan. I have a lot of respect for him. We have a good friendship—a good feeling, good chemistry. I think Pakistan will help us, and I think others will get involved,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Responding to a question if the Taliban could be trusted, Trump said “I don’t want to say if they can be trusted or not. Look, history, I would say, is not so good, but they don’t like us much either. But we’ve brought them down; we’ve brought the number of soldiers down very substantially. We are talking to them. We have a lot of advantages making a deal with us.”
“Let’s put this way: We’re more police than anything else, and that’s not for our soldiers,” he added.
“I’ve said—I’ve said it a lot. We could win the war in Pak (sic) --- we could win the war, if you look at it—and you can look at it any way you want—we can win the war in Afghanistan in less than a week,” Trump said.
“But I’m not looking to kill 10 million people. I’m not talking nuclear. I’m not talking nuclear. But we’d win that war in less than a week, and I have that as an option, always. But that’s what we’re not looking to do,” asserted the US President.
The United States is preparing to withdraw more than 5,000 of its troops from Afghanistan as part of an initial peace deal with the Taliban that would include a ceasefire and renunciation of Al-Qaeda, a media report said on Thursday.
The White House did not immediately respond to the news report. Quoting an unnamed US official, The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the Trump Administration was preparing to reduce its number of troops in Afghanistan from current 14,000 to 9,000 or 8,000.
(With agency inputs)