Washington: Sharply criticising Pakistan for
failing to rein in terrorist and militant groups on its soil, NATO has asked Islamabad to do more to take action on
insurgents who are based on its territory, but operate in
"Pakistan needs to align itself with NATO mission in
Afghanistan by denying the militants the ability to regroup on
its territory," NATO spokesman Brig Gen Carsten Jacobsen said.
The comments of the NATO-led top ISAF commander come as Washington is softening its tone on Pakistan.
"Whether it is Haqqani, or whether it is the Taliban that
are looking for safe haven and training facilities in
Pakistan, they have to be fought by all of us? Afghanistan,
Pakistan, and the international community," the spokesman was
quoted by Voice of America as saying.
"Pakistan has done a lot against terrorists and
insurgents, and paid a considerable price in blood over the
last years. There is no question that it is not enough," he
Last month, just before retiring, US Joint Chiefs of
Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen - the highest commander of
the US military - called the Haqqani network a "veritable arm"
of Pakistan`s military intelligence agency, the ISI.
Mullen`s remarks galvanised anti-American sentiment in
Pakistan and drew sharp reactions from an all-parties
conference convened by the Pakistani president. The admiral`s
allegations also fuelled US lawmakers` skepticism about the
future of American aid to Pakistan.
However, senior US diplomats now appear to be adopting a
more conciliatory tone about US-Pakistan cooperation in the
fight against terrorists.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
Marc Grossman is due later this week in Islamabad. In a
interview in Kabul on Saturday, he emphasised that 19,000
Pakistani civilians have been killed since 2003.
Grossman says the conversation between the United States
and Pakistan is now focused on "how to get our interests
shared and then act on them together," and stressed the need
for engagement between the United States and Pakistan.
Grossman says Washington will continue "to call on
Pakistan to end the safe havens and enablers" that allow
militants to carry out guerrilla raids in Afghanistan, then
retreat to Pakistan.