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Jim Jones Wants Pakistanis to See the ‘Urgency of the Moment’

The national security adviser didn’t say anything new during his afternoon talk to the Center for American Progress about reconciliation with the Taliban. Jim Jones pledged an “open door” for “those who would abandon violence” and “respect the rights of fellow citizens.” Those are parameters for negotiation, not a focus on personalities, in other words. Asked by Jon Landay of McClatchy about hypothetical negotiations with Mullah Omar as Jones headed to the elevators, Jones responded, “We’re pursuing a general strategy of engagement and we’ll see where that takes us.”

But he expressed some dismay about the Pakistani military’s announcement that it won’t pursue al-Qaeda in North Waziristan during the next year. “The speed with which we are able to achieve our goals in Afghanistan has a relationship to the willingness of Pakistan to take on the safe havens that exist in the border region,” Jones said. He added that the administration is trying to get Pakistan to see the “urgency of the moment” for Afghanistan, Pakistan and “the region itself.” Convincing the Pakistanis of that urgency requires persuading them that the United States is ready, for the long haul, to promote Pakistan’s legitimate interests.

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