Former US NSA HR McMaster (Twitter)
Former US NSA HR McMaster (Twitter)

Former US NSA slams Biden administration over Afghanistan withdrawal, says time for tough stance on Pakistan

By Reena Bhardwaj | Updated: Aug 13, 2021 07:14 IST

Washington [US], August 13 (ANI): Former US National Security Adviser (NSA) HR McMaster on Thursday (local time) slammed Biden administration over Afghanistan withdrawal and said that time has come to take a tough stand on Pakistan.
"We stopped actively targeting the Taliban in Afghanistan during the -- what I would call, again -- the capitulation negotiations," said McMaster who worked as then-President Donald Trump's second White House national security adviser.
Speaking at Wilson Center, a DC-based think tank event Mc Master further said, "And then, once that capitulation agreement was signed, we were hands-off with the Taliban ... Meanwhile, the Taliban were marshalling for this offensive."
McMaster a retired lieutenant general in the US Army said what comes next may be worse than the bloody civil war that ravaged Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996.
"This will be that crisis on steroids," the former head of the National Security Agency asserted. "Why? You know, in 2001, the population of Kabul was 500,000. Today, it's over five million," said the former NSA.
Having served the US army for 34 years, the veteran pinned down Pakistan stating that security in Pakistan is 'inexorably connected' to what happens in Afghanistan.
"It's time for tough stance on Pakistanis, who've helped perpetuate the threat from Taliban & used other terrorist groups as an arm of their foreign policy," Mc Master added.
The former NSA Chief also blamed China for its vested interest in the region and overt support to the Taliban as well as Pakistan, through its debt diplomacy (Belt and Road Initiative projects in the region).
"China wants to just continue to keep Pakistan on life support financially and economically," said Mc Master. "China should have an interest in Pakistan no longer supporting terror groups", added the former US NSA.
McMaster fears the US withdrawal could have repercussions not just in Afghanistan but also could result in an unstable South Asia region.
"They (terror groups) can initiate a cycle of sectarian violence in India," the former US national security adviser warned. (ANI)