Pak-US talks make `little progress`: Report

Hillary Clinton delivered a clear message from the US administration that Pakistan will have to dismantle terrorist sanctuaries.

Islamabad: Talks between US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistan`s civil and military leadership here made "little progress" on removing differences over tackling the Haqqani network but the two sides reached a "broader understanding" on how to move forward in Afghanistan, a media report said on Friday.

The discussions, led by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Hillary, were held against the backdrop of tensions following pressure from US officials on Pakistan to crack down on the Haqqanis and other militant groups operating along the Afghan border.

Hillary delivered a clear message from the US administration that Pakistan will have to dismantle terrorist sanctuaries in the country`s tribal belt, `The Express Tribune` quoted official sources as saying.

However, Pakistan informed the US that it could not launch a full-scale offensive in North Waziristan tribal agency, considered the stronghold of the Haqqani network.

"Our position is very clear, now, that the only way forward to address this issue is through dialogue," said an unnamed official.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister`s House too confirmed that Pakistan had no plans to initiate a military operation in North Waziristan.

Prime Minister Gilani called on Hillary to "give peace a chance”, as envisaged in a resolution passed by a recent meeting of Pakistan`s political parties.

That resolution had called for dialogue to end the unrest in the tribal belt and other parts of Pakistan`s restive northwest.

The resolution reflected the "sentiments of the Pakistani nation”, Gilani told Hillary.

Hillary was accompanied by an extraordinarily high-level delegation that included CIA chief David Petraeus, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen Martin Dempsey and Special Envoy for Af-Pak region Marc Grossman.

Gilani was assisted during the talks by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, ISI head Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha and other officials.

Before arriving in Pakistan, Hillary said in Kabul that the US intends to "push the Pakistanis very hard" to remove militant safe havens and tackle terrorist groups responsible for cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.

She said Pakistan "must be part of the solution" to the Afghan conflict.

CIA director Patreaus and ISI chief Pasha held a separate one-on-one meeting to discuss intelligence cooperation between the two countries.

PTI

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