US toughens stance on Pakistan’s talks with militants

May 16th, 2008 - 1:41 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 15 (ANI): The United States has toughened its stance on a proposed agreement with the militants in the Federal Administered Tribal Areas, saying that “any deal Pakistan reaches with them should be worth more than the paper it is written on”.
According to the Dawn, the US was refusing to comment on the recent missile attack on Damadola area of the Bajaur tribal Agency.
The blast, which locals and some officials blamed on a US missile strike, could affect ongoing peace talks between pro-Taliban militants and government officials in Pakistan.
At the Pentagon, Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said, “It is our hope that any deals which are cut with militants operating in that area … are enforceable,” he said. “A deal is only worth something if it can be enforced and is not violated by those who are signatory to it.”
The US, he said, was “imploring” the Pakistan government to ensure that “if there are irreconcilables, they are dealt with severely”.
He also urged Pakistan to make sure that whatever deal they sign with the militants in Federal Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is worth more than the paper it is written on.
Meanwhile, US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher has also expressed concern over Islamabad’s efforts to sign a peace deal with tribal militants.
“You can’t put restrictions on the military and let militants go free,” said Boucher, referring apparently to a similar agreement in 2006 which led to Pakistan stopping military operations against the militants. (ANI)

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