Washington: Pakistan`s border region
remains the most dangerous place in the world and Federally
Administered Tribal Areas remains epicentre of the world`s
worst of global jihad, a top Pentagon official has said.
Pakistan`s border region remains, as both President Obama
and Pakistani authorities recently put it, "the most
dangerous place in the world."
"Pakistan`s FATA remain the epicentre - the "Star Wars
Bar," if you will -- of the world`s worst of global jihad,"
said Michael Vickers, the Under Secretary of Defense for
"The continued presence of groups, like TIP (Tehrik-e-
Taliban Pakistan), the Haqqani Network, and the Commander
Nazir Group who provide al Qaeda with safe haven and make
common cause with it ensures that the FATA will almost
certainly remain a principal area of US counterterrorism focus
well after core al Qaeda is dismantled and ejected from the
region," Vickers said at a conference early this week at the
National Defense University.
Terming al Qaeda as a "parasite" that cannot survive
without its host, he said "the parasite also infects its host.
In recent months, we have been reminded that our relationship
with Pakistan is not without tension or frustration."
The US is working with its Pakistani partners to overcome
differences and continue their efforts against their common
enemies, he added.
"It`s imperative that we do so. Pakistan has been
critical to many of our most significant successes against al
Qaeda, and tens of thousands of Pakistanis -- military and
civilian -- have given their lives in the fight against
militancy," Vickers said.
US with its allies and partners had thwarted attacks
around the world, including al Qaeda`s plan to conduct
multiple attacks against Europe last fall.
"We have disrupted plots here at home, including the plan
of Najibullah Zazi, who was trained by al Qaeda to bomb the
New York subway," he said.
We have hit al Qaeda`s ability to attract new recruits
and made it harder for them to hide and transfer money. In
Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia we have shown them that it won`t
enjoy safe haven and have decimated its leadership ranks.
In addition to UBL, Atiyah Abdal-Rahman, Ilyas Kashmiri
and Younis al Mauritani, he said the past two years have
witnessed the deaths of al Qaeda`s former number 3 Sheik Saeed
al-Masri, al Qaeda`s former operations chief Abu Abdal-Rahman
al-Najdi, its former chief of external operations Saleh
al-Somali, Pakistan Taliban leader Baitullah Mahsud and
bombmaker Qari Hussein.