Washington: The US on Thursday said the current
"status quo" in Pakistan`s restive tribal areas, which has
become a safe haven for Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists, is
"unacceptable" amid growing fears that Islamabad was not doing
enough to battle militants holed up near the Af-Pak border.
Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary, told
reporters that there is "no excuse" for not taking action
against the al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists and their allies
in the tribal and border areas of the country.
Top US officials have repeatedly asserted that the
restive tribal areas near the Af-Pak border is a safe haven
for terrorists and Pakistan needs to act fast.
Gibbs asserted that while "we understand that the
status quo as are there now is also not acceptable." He said
there is "no excuse for not taking action" against the al
Qaeda and Taliban terrorists.
The issue would be taken up with the top Pakistani
leadership, who would be in Washington later this month to
attend the third US-Pak Strategic Dialogue.
While Gibbs indicated US taking tough stance against
Pakistan`s continued inability to address America’s concerns
with regard to the terrorist from its safe haven posing a
serious threat to the US, he was also appreciative of the
steps taken by the Pakistan Army in the last one year.
The Obama administration, Gibbs said, is "heartened"
by the steps taken by Pakistan to put al Qaeda "under
pressure" in the tribal areas.
"We will continue to work on the relationship," he
Describing the relationship between the US and
Pakistan, Gibbs said it is a difficult and complex
"We see improvements in some aspects, but more
improvements have to be made," Gibbs said.
The hard hitting US statement comes amid a media
report that Pakistan`s powerful spy agency ISI is pushing the
Taliban to attack US troops and their allies based in
Several similar charges against ISI have been made in
the past but `The Wall Street Journal` has suggested that this
one was the "strongest yet" and showed a "deteriorating
relationship with an essential ally in the Afghan campaign"
which had received billions of dollars in aid.
Some Taliban commanders and US officials have accused
ISI of telling the insurgents not to surrender and the
Americans also say they have heard similar accounts from
"The ISI wants to arrest commanders who are not
obeying (ISI) orders," a Taliban militant in Kunar province
was quoted as saying by the Journal.
"The ISI wants us to kill everyone policemen,
soldiers, engineers, teachers, civilians. Just to intimidate
people," he said, adding that when he refused the ISI had
tried to arrest him.
Now, the ISI`s motivation to keep friendly relations
with the insurgents is believed to be desire to keep its
leverage in Afghanistan when the US eventually leaves, as well
as preventing India from getting cosy inside the war-torn
country, the report said.