Take action against LeT: US to Pak

A top US counter-terror official described Pakistan`s lawless tribal belt as a terrorist safe haven.

Last Updated: Apr 16, 2011, 11:37 AM IST

Washington: Describing Pakistan`s lawless
tribal belt as a terrorist safe haven, a top US counter-
terrorism official has said the Obama administration continues
to press Islamabad for "increased action" against militant
groups like LeT, which is responsible for the Mumbai attacks.

"While Pakistan has made progress on the counter-
terrorism front, specifically against Tehrik-e-Taliban
Pakistan, the challenge remains to make these gains durable
and sustainable," Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator for Counter-
terrorism Office in State Department said in his testimony
before a Congressional Committee.

Benjamin said Pakistan must sustain its efforts to deny
al Qaeda safe haven in the tribal areas of its western
territory.

He also said the US continues to ask Pakistan to take
action against LeT. "We continue to press Pakistan for
increased action against Lashkar-e-Toiba and other terrorist
groups."

On al Qaeda, he said that though the terror network`s
"core has become weaker, it retains the capability to conduct
regional and transnational attacks."

In addition, he said, its "affiliates have grown
stronger."

Benjamin said Pakistan, particularly its Federally
Administered Tribal Area and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in
the northwest, continues to be used as a base for terrorist
organisations operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

PTI

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