US asks Pakistan to take ‘forceful action’ against Taliban

May 2nd, 2009 - 11:08 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban By Arun Kumar
Washington, May 2 (IANS) The US wants Pakistan to take “consistent, determined, and forceful action” against the Taliban and other extremists operating there and in Afghanistan, but has denied it has set a two week deadline.

“I don’t know where this two-week timeframe came from, but look, we have said very clearly that we believe the Pakistanis need to take action against these extremist elements,” State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters Friday.

“It has to be consistent, decisive, and we need to understand that this is not something we’re going to be able to deal with in two days, two weeks, two months,” he said when asked to comment on a US media report that a top US General was looking for concrete action by the Pakistani government to destroy the Taliban in the next two weeks.

General David Petraeus, commander of US Central Command, had also told US officials the next two weeks are critical to determining whether the Pakistani government will survive, Fox News reported Thursday.

“This is going to take time. But what’s important is … 110 per cent effort. And Pakistan seems willing to go in that direction. We’ll continue to try to help them if they move in that direction,” Wood said.

The official said the US will be working with Pakistan and provide assistance to it along with other countries who believe it is critical to international security to defeat the Taliban and the extremists that are operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Pakistan is doing this out in its own national security interests… It’s important that these extremists be dealt with, and we’re going to continue, as I said, to work with them and others,” Wood said.

The spokesman termed “positive” the action taken by Pak army in the last couple of days. But said, the US was “under no illusions. It’s going to take more than two days worth of action. It’s going to take consistent, determined, and forceful action,” he said.

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