Brussels: As US sets in motion phased
withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan; NATO has said that
elements in Pakistan are supporting insurgency in the war-torn
The US-led military grouping also said the security
situation in both Pakistan and Afghanistan was `far from
satisfactory` even though Osama bin Laden and part of top
al Qaeda leadership had been brought to justice.
"We are certainly not anywhere near the point where
the situation in Pakistan is satisfactory from a global or
regional security perspective or that the situation in
Afghanistan is satisfactory from a global or regional
perspective, to have been completely free from the threat of
al Qaeda," a top American official said.
Stating that insurgency in Afghanistan was being
supported by elements in Pakistan; NATO has said that it could
not address this concern without dealing with related issues
Top NATO officials said that two were linked and thus it
was engaging with both these countries and their neighbours,
including India, to help free the region from the threat of
terror and al Qaeda.
"While we are trying to deal with insurgency in
Afghanistan, we are well aware that it is being supported by
elements in Pakistan and our continuing engagement with both
the countries is designed to deal with insurgency and the
al Qaeda threat to US and NATO countries," said a senior NATO
The NATO official said the goal that the grouping and US
had set themselves on was "to disrupt, dismantle and defeat
"It is about this specific issue. The fundamental goal of
American policy on why US is involved in this part of the
world and NATO is, has to do with al Qaeda and its threat to
the US and to NATO countries," the official said.
The official added that though US and NATO had made
significant progress on al Qaeda in the last two years, by
bringing to justice its leader and a large portion of its
leadership, it had not yet achieved its goal.
"We have made significant progress in dealing with
insurgency in Afghanistan. And as a result, we are closer to
meeting our fundamental goals. We are not completely there
He added, "We will continue to pursue, long after our
military objective is achieved, to take a diplomatic strategy
in which we will engage with countries around the region, be
it about bilateral relations or helping to enhance security
for all in the region.
"We will continue to engage with all nations, including
Iran when it decides to move in a different direction. But it
is not the US responsibility to solve all the regional
security problems. It is our greatest responsibility to deal
with those that are directly responsible to our security."
The official said US and NATO will deal with al Qaeda,
terrorism and those who are directly related to it.