As U.S. President Barrack Obama suggested the need for an exit strategy on Afghanistan, his special envoy to the region, Richard Holbrooke outlined to NATO new review plans to beat insurgents in the strife-torn country.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the 26 ambassadors in Brussels Monday, he said that failure to eliminate opium poppy crops enabled the Taliban insurgents to raise money from the drug trade. It is the most wasteful and ineffective program I have seen in 40 years, the envoy added.
Holbrooke noted that inadequacies and corruption of the Afghan national police must be fixed to help strengthen local security. According to him, the real threat to NATO's efforts in Afghanistan actually comes from western Pakistan, where the Taliban have significant support.
He denied a report that Washington and its European allies sought to create a new chief executive or prime ministerial role in Afghanistan to sideline President Hamid Karzai.
Addressing delegates at the Brussels Forum, Holbrooke said the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks and the 9/11 as well as the assassins of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto are present in Pakistan itself.
He also met senior EU officials.
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