US ‘losing patience’ with Pakistan: Mullen

Admiral Mike Mullen said Pakistan`s tribal regions are still providing shelter to terrorist groups.

Kabul: The United States Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Admiral Mike Mullen has said that the US was losing patience over Pakistan’s failure to eliminate many al Qaeda strongholds that continue to exist there.

Addressing troops in Kabul, during a third day of his visit to Afghanistan, Mullen alleged that Pakistan`s tribal regions are still providing shelter to terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Haqqani network, The News reports.

Mullen, who is nearing the end of his four-year tenure, said that his biggest worry is the continued instability in Pakistan`s tribal areas along the Afghan border, adding that despite Osama bin Laden’s killing, many of his associates are still plotting operations beyond the region.

Insisting that he has often raised this issue with senior Pakistani military leaders, the BBC quoted Mullen as saying: "Probably one of the things I`ve learned is that I`m a little bit more impatient and I`d like to see things happen more quickly."

"Their patience level is such that sometimes we would disagree on time frames and the need to move now, but again that’s a choice they get to make with their own forces, it doesn’t mean we don’t continue to address these issues," added.

Although Mullen acknowledged that Pakistan had lost many of its own troops while combating many of the terrorist outfits, he insisted that unless it takes action against groups like the Afghan Haqqani network, it could affect relations between Washington and Islamabad.