Abdul Basit, Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) spokesman, told journalist on December 30, 2009, that “The decision to leave Afghanistan should be taken when the country is able to look after itself effectively.” See “Coalition should not leave Afghanistan in haste, says FO.” According to Pakistan Daily Times reporter Sajjad Malik, Mr. Basit said:
Stability and peace in Afghanistan is in our strategic interest. We are therefore engaged with the US in ensuring that the new US Afghan policy delivers. Coalition forces should not leave Afghanistan in haste. There are some concerns and we are in talks with the US over these concerns.
Mr. Basit also said, according to Mr. Mailk: “We hope that our concerns (regarding Indian interference) will be taken seriously because we do not want this region to destabilise. Should this interference continue, I am afraid things will not improve.”
Basit said “these concerns had been discussed with Kabul and other relevant countries several times,” according to the Daily Times report.