Senators ask Pakistan to eliminate safe havens

The Senators said Pakistan was not taking action against militants of the Haqqani group and Quetta Shura.

Washington: Three key US Senators have
asked Pakistan to take steps to eliminate terrorist safe
havens in the country, if Islamabad wanted a closer
relationship with the US.

Charging that Pakistan was not taking action against
militants of the Haqqani group and Quetta Shura, the Senators
said that these outfits were posing a greater threat than

The Senators Carl Levin, Jeanne Shaheen and Jeff Merkley
in a joint statement after their return from a trip to
Pakistan said, "these safe havens allow those insurgents to
cross the border to attack US, Afghan and coalition forces and
then return to their sanctuaries".

"We told the Pakistanis` that we believe that their
working to eliminate those safe havens is essential to a
closer relationship between the US and Pakistan," they said.

"While the Pakistani Army takes on terrorist groups within their borders that attack them often at great cost in Pakistani lives they have not taken on the Haqqani Group and
the Quetta Shura," the statement said.

The coalition and Afghan forces have successfully
diminished Taliban havens in southern Afghanistan, "As a
result, the Taliban are increasingly focusing their efforts in
eastern Afghanistan.

Consequently, the Pakistan safe havens for the Haqqani
Group and the Afghan Taliban Quetta Shura pose a greater threat than ever," they said.

Levin, Shaheen and Merkley met the Pakistani Army Chief,
General Ashfaq Kayani; Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani; and
President, Asif Ali Zardari.


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