Pakistan a bigger threat than Afghanistan: top US diplomat

March 6th, 2009 - 12:02 am ICT by IANS  

London, March 5 (IANS) The top US diplomat in Kabul has warned that Pakistan poses a bigger security challenge to America and the world than Afghanistan.
“From where I sit (Pakistan) sure looks like it’s going to be a bigger problem,” Christopher Dell, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US embassy at Kabul, said in an interview published Thursday.

“It is certainly one of those nuclear armed countries the instability of which is a bigger problem for the globe,” Dell told The Guardian newspaper.

Speaking after Tuesday’s terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, Dell said: “Pakistan is a bigger place, has a larger population, it is nuclear-armed. It has certainly made radical Islam a part of its political life, and it now seems to be a deeply ingrained element of its political culture. It makes things there very hard.”

The US diplomat said there has been an increase in the infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan into Afghanistan in recent days - a possible outcome of peace deals between militants and the Pakistani government.

“Every time the Pakistanis have signed a peace deal, two things happen,” Dell said. “There is an uptick in the fighting on this (the Afghan) side, and the peace deals have fallen apart quickly. We think we’ve already seen an increase of fighters crossing the border.”

The Guardian reported Tuesday that three warlords in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan had settled mutual differences, formed a group called Shura Ittihad-ul Mujahideen and had to focus their efforts on launching attacks in Afghanistan.

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