US seeks global support to defeat ‘horrible’ Taliban

April 22nd, 2009 - 10:23 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban By Arun Kumar
Washington, April 22 (IANS) The United States wants the international community to come together to defeat Taliban extremists in Pakistan engaged in “horrific practices” like cutting off the ears and noses of those opposed to them.

“It’s horrific, the practices that the Taliban are engaged in,” State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters Tuesday when asked to comment on a report in Washington Post about the situation in Pakistan.

“This is why it’s so important for the international community to come together and to use all of our means to defeat these extremists,” he said.

Wood Disagreed with an assessment that rather than getting weaker, the Taliban seem to be spreading, but acknowledged, “the Taliban are a very serious threat. There’s no question about that.”

“We are working with the governments in Afghanistan and Pakistan to do what we can to counter these violent extremists… The administration is very clear in terms of how we’re going to prioritise our efforts to defeat the Taliban, to strengthen both Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

“It’s not going to be an easy thing,” Wood said. “But we think we have a strategy in place. We think we have buy-in from other partners in the international community.”

The US, he said was “under no illusions of how difficult this is. But these people need to be defeated, and we’re going to continue to work to do so.”

“Russia is a very important ally in this, and Russia’s very committed to defeating the Taliban as well,” Wood said. “And they’re working closely with the United States and other countries to try to do that.”

Asked how the Taliban were able to spread so far, the spokesman said the Taliban had taken advantage of very difficult situations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“And what we have to do is try to strengthen civil society in these countries, extend governance outward in these countries so that it can be shown that the Taliban just don’t have the support that they claim to have and that they do have in many cases,” he said. “But it’s going to take a lot of effort. But we’re willing to make that effort.”

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