US asks Pak to act tough against extremists

The US today said it wants to work with Pakistan in fight against terrorism, but insisted Islamabad in a "clear message" has been asked to act against the extremist groups such as Haqqani network that operate from its soil.

Washington: The US today said it wants to
work with Pakistan in fight against terrorism, but insisted
Islamabad in a "clear message" has been asked to act against
the extremist groups such as Haqqani network that operate from
its soil.

"The clear message that is being conveyed over the last
week that we hope the Government of Pakistan would take steps
against the militants located on the Pakistani side of the
border, who carry out attacks against American and Afghan
forces inside Afghanistan," Pentagon spokesman George Little
told reporters.

Insisting that the lines of communication remain open with
Pakistan, Little said the relationship is complicated but an
essential one.

There is a need to find out ways to work together
especially when it comes to terrorism as both countries have
common interest in fighting terrorists. Both Americans and
Pakistanis have been victims of terrorist attacks, he said.

"The Secretary of Defence was clear on Thursday in
testimony (before a Congressional committee) that in terms of
options that might be looked at to pursue militants, we are
not going to discuss what options may or may not be," Little
said.

Responding to questions about the recent series of high
visibility attack, he said by doing so the terrorist outfits
were trying to "create a perception" which was far away from
reality.

"The bottom line is, it is this fighting season for the
Taliban and insurgents in Afghanistan has been less effective.
They are resorting to new tactics that resemble what we have
seen in last several weeks and they have been able to...large
scale offences," Little said.

"The insurgents are not as effective and they are doing
this as a way to create the perception that they are having
more success than that is actually happening," Little claimed.

The Pentagon spokesman said he is not aware of any "large
scale" change in security cooperation between the US and
Pakistan over the last week.

"No one should say, as I said last week that there is some
kind of breach with the Government of Pakistan. We want to
work together. We want to cooperate. Cooperation is very
important for both countries," he said.

"There are disagreements and we discuss those very
candidly with the Pakistanis. We hope to make progress in that
front and will see how the relationship progresses," Little
said.

One should not be surprised if the particulars of
relationship changes over time, he added.

"The key message that is being conveyed is that the
Pakistanis need to do more against the Haqqani network. Beyond
that I will not go into any specifics," he said.

PTI

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