Washington: The US is taking precautions to ensure safety of its aid workers and military personnel engaged in flood relief efforts in Pakistan, a top American commander has said in the wake of open threat issued by the Taliban to foreigners assisting the disaster-hit people in that country.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, also hoped that all of those who are providing aid in this very difficult set of circumstances would not be impeded.
"I share the concern that was stated ... by the State Department. I haven`t seen any indication that that`s happened yet. But the insurgents have no moral bounds, and that they might do something like that isn`t outside the realm of possibilities," Mullen told journalists in Cleveland, amid reports that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had threatened international aid workers asking them to leave the country.
A day earlier, State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said the US has information of the potential targeting of foreign relief workers in Pakistan as well as government ministries.
"We`re in possession of threat information (from the Taliban). We are talking to and working with the government of Pakistan to do everything we can to make sure that our disaster response and Pakistan`s disaster response can continue in light of this threat," he said.
Crowley said the US is concerned that extremist elements within Pakistan, including the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, may well decide to attack foreigners who are in Pakistan helping the people of the country, or may choose at this time to attack government institutions in Pakistan that are responding on behalf of the Pakistani people.