US defends increase in drone attacks in Pak`s tribal areas
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 15:23
  
Washington: As the CIA ramped up the drone attacks against terrorist targets in Pakistan's tribal areas, Special US envoy for Af-Pak Richard Holbrooke has defended the move, saying the region bordering Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous parts of the world.

"Those are the people who trained the Times Square bomber. Al-Qaeda is sitting up there. The Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani group are sitting up there, killing Americans, attacking the Indian embassy," Holbrooke told the MSNBC in an interview telecast late last night.

"Miranshah is one of the headquarters of one of the groups that kills a lot of Americans. If you're in a war, you can't kid yourself about it. I've seen a lot of wars. I hate them more than anything you can imagine. But in this particular case, as the President has said repeatedly, our own homeland security is directly involved," he said.

"Then you have the LeT, another group, whose goal is to provoke a conflict between India and Pakistan and who did the Mumbai bombing. This is a reason why this is the most dangerous area on earth to stability," he said.

One of the big mistakes of the previous administration, Holbrooke said, was to treat Afghanistan and Pakistan separately bureaucratically, in every part of the government.

"President-elect Obama and Hillary Clinton asked me to combine Afghanistan and Pakistan on the civilian side. The Pentagon followed suit; the CIA, the White House, other governments," he noted.

"And now we recognize the interrelationship. We treat Pakistan, as I said earlier, discussing the floods, as a great sovereign country we have to deal with on its own merit, a very difficult one with its own set of problems vis-a-vis India, which I am not involved in directly," Holbrooke said.

"But in regard to what's happening in Afghanistan, let's go back to first principles. There's no possible success in Afghanistan unless the Pakistanis are part of the solution, not part of the problem. That has been one of our major focuses. And we worked very hard in trying to close the gap between the two countries," Holbrooke said.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 15:23


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