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Pakistans president Asif Ali Zardari sa under en stopover i Paris at Taliban holder på å vinne krigen i Afghanistan, fordi ISAF og Vesten har tapt krigen om folks hjerter og hjerne.

Det kan tolkes som et takk for sist til statsminister David Cameron for hans uttalelse om at Pakistan eksporterer terror. Det kan også tolkes som en dulgt trussel og utfordring, for Pakistans sikkerhetstjeneste ISI har beskyttet, trent og styrt Taliban i flere år, nettopp for at Vesten ikke skulle vinne krigen.

Zardaris ord kan tolkes som han indirekte sier at Pakistan sitter med nøkkelen til om det blir en styrt forhandlingsløsning, dvs. fred på Pakistans betingelser, eller Pakistan kan velge å øke trykket mot ISAF.

Vestlige ledere må vise at de ikke lar seg bløffe eller skremme.

Giving a flavour of the concerns he will raise with Mr Cameron, Mr Zardari told Le Monde that Nato was “in the process of losing the war against the Taliban”.

“That is, above all, because we have lost the battle for hearts and minds … The whole approach seems wrong to me,” he said. “The population does not associate the presence of the coalition with a better future.”

Turning to Mr Cameron’s specific comments on Pakistan “exporting terror”, Mr Zardari said he would make clear that it was Pakistan “paying the highest price for this war in terms of human lives”.

“A frank discussion will allow us to reintroduce a little bit of calm,” he added. “Relations between our two countries are old and solid enough for that.”

In spite of the furore sparked by his remarks, Mr Cameron is standing firm on his criticisms, insisting he “gave a pretty clear and frank answer” and did not “regret that at all”.

Pakistan’s main opposition party said on Tuesday night it would “extensively debate” Mr Zardari’s trip in the lower house of parliament, piling pressure on the president to take a tough line with Mr Cameron.

Criticism of Mr Zardari mounted after reports that the president was using his visit to launch the political career of his 21-year-old son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, during a political rally in Birmingham.

Taliban is winning Afghan war, says Zardari