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Notable operational gains in AF-Pak region: Obama

Prez Obama has said that US` main goal in Af-Pak region is to defeat and dismantle al Qaeda.

Updated: Apr 06, 2011, 14:44 PM IST

Washington: Noting that America`s main
goal in Afghanistan and Pakistan is to disrupt, dismantle and eventually defeat al-Qaeda, President Barack Obama has said
that specific components of his strategy for the region are
working well and there are notable operational gains.

"Specific components of our strategy for Afghanistan
and Pakistan are working well, and there are notable
operational gains and there are notable operational gains,
most important, al-Qaeda`s senior leadership in Pakistan is
weaker and under more sustained pressure than at any other
point since it fled Afghanistan in 2001," Obama said in the
third-quarterly report to the Congress on Afghanistan and
Pakistan sent yesterday.

"In Pakistan, we are laying the foundation for a
strategic partnership based on mutual respect and trust,
through increased dialogue, improved cooperation, and enhanced exchange and assistance programs," he said.
The 2010 Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review includes
an evaluation of the progress made during the period of this
report, which marked the full deployment of the US troop
"surge" to Afghanistan that he announced in December 2009,
Obama said in a letter to the Congressional leaders.
In Afghanistan, "the momentum achieved by the Taliban
in recent years has been arrested in much of the country and
reversed in some key areas" but "these gains remain fragile
and reversible," he said.

He said while the strategy is showing progress across
all three assessed areas of al-Qaeda, Pakistan and
Afghanistan, the challenge remains to make our gains durable
and sustainable.
"With regard to al-Qaeda`s Pakistan-based leadership
and cadre, we must remain-focused on making further progress
toward our ultimate end state, the eventual strategic
defeat of al-Qaeda in the region, which will require the
sustained denial of the group`s safe haven in the tribal areas
of western Pakistan, among other factors," Obama said.

He said there is need to place the Afghanistan and
Pakistan challenges in larger and better integrated political
and regional contexts.

Obama said that as a result his strategy, US forces
are scheduled to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan this Summer.
"This review also underscores the importance of a sustained long-term commitment to the region - in Pakistan, by way of our growing strategic partnership; and in Afghanistan,
as reflected by our own long-term commitment, as well as the
Lisbon North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit`s two
outcomes: the goal for Afghans to assume the lead for security
across the country by 2014, and NATO`s enduring commitment
beyond 2014," he said.

PTI