Pakistan has to do more in fighting terror: US

July 29th, 2010 - 10:28 am ICT by IANS  

David Cameron By Arun Kumar
Washington, July 29 (IANS) Endorsing British Prime Minister David Cameron’s call to Pakistan to stop “exporting” terror, the US says Pakistan has made a strategic shift in the fight against terror, but more has to be done.

“Well, we don’t want to see the export of terror by any country,” State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley said Wednesday when asked to comment on Cameron’s warning to Pakistan during his trip to India.

“We are concerned about and have said many times that extremist elements within the borders of Pakistan, in the tribal areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan, first and foremost, it represents a threat to Pakistan, it represents a threat to Afghanistan.”

Noting that extremists with links to these areas have made their way to Europe and the United States, Crowley said the US and Pakistan “are both satisfied with the aggressive steps that Pakistan has taken in recent months at considerable expense to Pakistan.”

“But as we’ve made clear, we want to see Pakistan stay on the offensive in combating these extremist elements,” he said. “And I know Pakistani officials in recent days have publicly stated their commitment to continue to do that.”

Pakistan has, in the US view, “made a strategic shift in the last year or more,” Crowley said suggesting, “It has taken aggressive action at considerable expense to Pakistan.”

“The Pakistani people are suffering as much if not more than any other people in the world from terrorism,” he said. “But there is clearly more to be done.”

“Our joint concern here is to eliminate the safe havens that exist in the region and to prevent the emergence of new safe havens from which there can be the export of terrorism that can threaten the United States, Europe, or other parts of the world,” Crowley said.

Asked if the US trusted Pakistan not to give away sensitive information to Taliban given the fact that Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani headed spy agency ISI when it was playing a double game, Crowley said: “This is part of our ongoing conversation with Pakistan.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had talked to Pakistani leaders about these issues just last week, he said. “But this is a conversation we’ve been having for some time. There are historical relationships” of ISI and other Pakistani agencies “with elements of concern to us within Pakistan.”

During General Kayani’s tenure as the chief of staff, Pakistan has, in fact, taken the most aggressive action it’s ever taken against extremist elements within its borders, Crowley said. “We want to see that continue.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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