`Al Qaeda shifted base to Pak tribal region`
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 16:06
  
Washington: US President Barack Obama said Washington's decision to revamp its AFPAK strategy was based on credible information that the Al-Qaeda has shifted its base to Pakistan's lawless tribal region. Expressing concern over Al-Qaeda's expanding activities in the region, US President Barack Obama has said the outlawed outfit and its allies have moved their bases to Pakistan's remote tribal areas.

"That is why I announced a new, comprehensive strategy in March. This strategy recognizes that Al Qaeda and its allies had moved their base to the remote, Tribal Areas of Pakistan," The News quoted Obama, as saying.

The US President said Al-Qaeda was on the look out to repeat 9/11, therefore, its activities must be checked.

"If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which Al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting. This is fundamental to the defence of our people," he said.

In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the largest US military veterans group, the President said, "The insurgency in Afghanistan didn't just happen overnight, and we won't defeat it overnight," "This will not be quick nor easy."

Obama's words were designed to prepare Americans for the long haul. U.S. combat deaths have risen since he ordered a troop buildup to confront a resurgent Taliban, and polls show public backing for the eight year-war has softened.

"This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity," Obama said. "Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans."

Obama spoke as Afghans prepared to vote in a presidential election on Thursday that the Taliban, stronger than at any time since they were driven from power in 2001, have vowed to disrupt.

Bureau Report with ANI inputs


First Published: Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 16:06


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