Panetta asks Pakistan to go after terrorists

In a stern message to Pakistan, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said that the US would not give out a "blank cheque" to the country until it fulfills its obligations to go after the terrorist targets.

Washington: In a stern message to Pakistan, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said that the US would not give out a "blank cheque" to the country until it fulfills its obligations to go after the terrorist targets.

"We have to show that this is a two-way street, not
just a one-way street. They have some obligations," Panetta
said in an interview to the NBC News yesterday during his
visit to Iraq.

"They`ve got to help us be able to go after some of
the targets we`ve assigned them; they`ve got to be able to
give us their cooperation," he said.

"And they`ve got to know that we`re not going to give out a blank cheque until they show that this is a two-way relationship," Panetta said when asked about the USD 800
million of military aid to Pakistan being suspended by the
United States.

The Defence Secretary said Pakistan has always been a
critical country for the US.

"It`s always been a difficult relationship that
we`ve had, but the fact is, we need to maintain that
relationship. We`re fighting a war in their country," he said.

"We`re fighting al-Qaeda in their country.
Strategically, they`re an important country, particularly
because they have nuclear arms. So for all those reasons,
we`ve got to maintain the relationship," he said.

PTI

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