Pak rejects US assessment of its anti-terror campaign

Pakistan rejected a WH report that criticised its efforts to fight Taliban militant along the border with Afghanistan.

Updated: Apr 08, 2011, 00:25 AM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday rejected a White House
report that criticised its efforts to fight Taliban militants
along the border with Afghanistan, saying it did not "entirely
share the US assessment" that the campaign against the rebels
is making little progress.

The Obama administration`s report to Congress
"reflects the US point of view", Foreign Office spokesperson
Tehmina Janjua told a weekly news briefing.

"I would like to emphatically state that we do not
entirely share the US assessment," she said.

Earlier in the day, the Pakistani military too
rejected the US report which contended that Islamabad is
avoiding direct conflict with militants in its tribal areas
and that it still has no "clear path" to defeat rebels on its
soil.

A military official, who did not want to be named,
claimed security forces had carried out "effective operations"
against militants in the tribal regions and the Swat valley of
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Janjua criticised several aspects of the White House
report, saying that Pakistan "does not subscribe to the notion
of Af-Pak" and this had been "abundantly made clear to the US
on a number of occasions".

The references to Pakistan in the report were
"unwarranted" and the country "has its own assessment of the
strengths and weakness of the strategy and approach being
followed by US/ISAF vis-a-vis counter-terrorism and on issues
of peace and security in Afghanistan", she said.

"Pakistan should not be held accountable for the
failings of the aforementioned strategy in Afghanistan,"
Janjua said.

The Pakistani government, armed forces and people have
"done much more than any one single country" to deal with
terrorism, she contended.

Islamabad has a clear strategy for dealing with
militancy that is guided by Pakistan`s national interest, she
said.

There is a need to developing "clarity and strategic
coherence" between all stakeholders involved in issues related
to Afghanistan, she said.

"There is undoubtedly recognition of the need for
genuine and honest engagement between Afghanistan, Pakistan
and the US to overcome what are perceived to be common
challenges and shared goals.

"Pakistan will be engaging with the US on these
matters," she said.

The US report highlighted the need for greater
cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan to destroy
insurgent havens on both sides of their border.

The US has long expressed frustration about Pakistan`s
reluctance to take on militants in its tribal areas.

In another report in October last year, the White
House accused the Pakistani military of continuing to avoid
engagements that would put it in direct conflict with the
Afghan Taliban or al Qaeda elements in North Waziristan.

Pakistan has repeatedly said it will decide the timing
for any offensive in North Waziristan and that it will not
accept any pressure in this regard.

It has also insisted that security forces are engaged
in other areas and cannot afford to launch a fresh offensive.

PTI