Pakistan needs to address IED issue: Panetta

Prevalence of Pakistan-manufactured improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan continues to be a major point of friction.

Washington: The US is pushing Islamabad to address the issue of prevalence of Pakistan-manufactured improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan that continues to be a major point of friction between the two countries.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told lawmakers on Tuesday that IED is the major reason of casualties of American soldiers in Afghanistan and that these explosives are manufactured in Pakistan.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Panetta, the supplies of IEDs continue to come from Pakistan and this is an area where action needs to be taken "to be effective at trying to cut back on these".

"We have made very clear to them (Pakistan) that, where these threats emanate from, we have identified locations. We`ve directed them to specific sites. We have urged them to take steps.”

"In some cases, they have. In some cases, they wind up there too late. But we`re continuing to impress upon them that they have got to be part of the answer to dealing with this issue," the Defence Secretary said in response to a question from a Senator.

Panetta said in some ways the IED issue relates to prevalence of safe havens.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said America`s relations with Pakistan have been somewhat challenged.

"They`re improving. And this is one of the points of friction between us that we have to get at," he said.


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