Washington: US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker has said that Pakistan itself will be at loss if boycotts the international conference on Afghanistan scheduled to start on Monday in Bonn, Germany.
On Saturday Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani made it clear to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Pakistan would stick to its decision to boycott the conference in protest against, what it said, unprovoked and deliberate attacks on Pakistan Army posts in Mohmand tribal region that killed 24 of its soldiers.
The US envoy to Kabul told VOA’s Afghan service said that Islamabad’s absence from the conference cannot derail Afghan progress, but it would be “unfortunate.”
“Frankly, it will be their loss if they are not there. It isn’t going to change the outcome of the conference,” he said.
During the conference, Crocker said, the international community will renew its long-term commitment to Afghanistan’s security, stability and prosperity.
“The intent of those international participants is to say, ‘We’ve been with you for the last 10 years… we’re going to be with you for the next 10 years.”
Crocker also said he has seen a lot of changes in Afghanistan over the past decade beyond the toppling of the Taliban government.
“Nine hundred thousand kids were in school here when I arrived,” he said. “There are now over eight million, and almost 40 percent are girls. The life expectancy of Afghans has risen enormously, economic activity, again, is also extraordinary.”