US sees Pak as a ‘hurdle’ in its anti-terror strategy

March 30th, 2009 - 8:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Lahore, Mar. 30 (ANI): The United States is struggling hard to identify the loopholes in its South Asian policy over the past seven years, as it has limited ability to control what happens in Pakistan, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Of all the dilemmas, problems and challenges we face, that’s going to be the most daunting. You could have a great government in Kabul. But if the current situation in western Pakistan continues, the instability of Afghanistan would continue,” the Daily Times quoted Obama’s special envoy on Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke, as saying.

However, the new policy puts the consequences of those constraints in sharp relief, the paper points out.

In Afghanistan, the US is going to send an additional 21,000 troops and to train thousands of Afghan soldiers.

In Pakistan, its approach hinges on providing an extra five billion dollars in aid and leaning on Islamabad to act against the militants.

Obama, who described FATA as the most dangerous place in the world, had warned Pakistan that the US’ could not continue to give blank cheques to Islamabad if it doesn’t take any substantial steps to weed out terrorism.”After years of mixed results, we will not and cannot provide a blank cheque. Pakistan must demonstrate its commitment to rooting out Al Qaeda and the violent extremists within its borders. And we will insist that action be taken, one way or another, when we have intelligence about high-level terrorist targets,” the report quoted Obama, as saying.

The remark appeared to be one of the most pointed threats of unilateral US military action in Pakistan.

However, US intelligence officials say Islamabad continues to foster relationships with militant groups. An officer described the problem as “too big” which has hurt US efforts to strike militant targets.

“After 9/11 they did a turnabout, but not a 100 percent turnabout, and remain engaged,” he said. (ANI)

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