Ex-NATO commander says US should let Pak tackle militancy on its own soil

November 13th, 2008 - 2:24 pm ICT by ANI  


Washington, Nov 13 (ANI): Former NATO commander Wesley Clark has reportedly advised the US to let Pakistan act against Taliban on its soil.

Advising caution against the US overt attacks on targets on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border, Clark, who is a staunch supporter of President-elect Barack Obama, urged anti-terrorism help for Pakistan as well as a broader approach to regional security that should take into account tensions over Kashmir.

I think it is a dangerous thing for stability in the region to be too heavily overtly involved there. But, on the other hand, Pakistan needs support and assistance. And its government and military are in a very tough fight, the Daily Times quoted him as saying.

He added: I think the more we can help Pakistan to do this work themselves, the better off we are. The more we can be in a supporting role, instead of a leading role, the more we can take - let Pakistanis” legitimate governmental institutions take the responsibility for the inevitable mistakes that occur when force is applied, the better off we are.

He also said that any such move must take into consideration a whole lot of aspects, including the risk of collateral damage, the real value of target and the impact of firing.

Clark said that the US needed to be careful on defining success in that country and advocated a regional approach that should seek to address Pakistan-India tensions over the longstanding Kashmir dispute.

He said, I think that you have got to look at ways to see the bigger picture. The bigger picture is tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, then issues in Pakistan, and then the spill over across the border, and then the results of 30 years of ceaseless conflict in Afghanistan. So, we have got to provide economic hope in the region. We have got to provide a modicum of security. (ANI)

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