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`Pak military admits extremism poses existential threat`

Last Updated: Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 10:23

Washington: Pakistani military now recognises that extremism poses existential threat to them, the US has said, a day after reports that a top Taliban leader has been arrested in a joint CIA-ISI operation.
The remarks came soon after US President Barack Obama held an hour-long situation room meeting with his top national security aide on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"One of the updates that the President got today (Wednesday) was a discussion about our military cooperation with Pakistan and the recognition on the Pakistani military side that extremists in their country posed not simply a threat but an existential threat to them," White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters at his daily news briefing yesterday.

For the past one year, the Obama administration had been trying to convince Pakistan that it is violent extremism and not India that pose existential threat to them.

"They (Pakistan) have been working productively and cooperatively for more than a year now in assisting international efforts, and cooperating in an effort to rid that area of violent extremists," Gibbs said.

"I don`t want to get into operationally what might or might not come next. But obviously the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (deputy of Mullah Omar), is a significant win," he said when asked about the arrest of the top Taliban leader.

"Obviously the Pakistani government has confirmed that Mullah Baradar is in custody. I am not going to get into information that we are getting from those interrogations. I do think obviously this was the number two Afghan Taliban and the operational chief, and it`s a big success for our mutual efforts in the region," Gibbs said.

He said Obama met with his national security team and chain of command for his regular update on Af-Pak.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 10:23
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