US concerned about terrorist safe havens in Pakistan: General Campbell
Washington: A top American General has expressed concern over the terrorist safe havens in Pakistan but said the US wil continue to work with the country.
"I am concerned about the (terrorist) sanctuary in Pakistan," said General John F Campbell, who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
"If confirmed, I will continue to work with the Afghan military and the Pakistan military to continue to ensure that we can reduce that, but that we have the great mil-to-mil cooperation between the Afghans and the Pakistanis," he said during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.
Campbell said there is a great opportunity for the mil-to-mil engagement between the Afghans and the Pakistanis.
"They got to continue to work that," he said.
Admiral William Gortney, Nominee for Commander of the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM), told lawmakers that it is critical to have partnership with Pakistan and also to have mil-to-mil between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Earlier, in written response to questions, Gen Campbell said?Pakistan is postured to occupy a significant role in the security situation in Afghanistan.
"Pakistan`s first priority is its eastern border with India, but it also continues to be concerned over growing Indian influence in Afghanistan. Pakistan is and will continue to be a critical partner in the region," he said.
"The stability of the entire region requires cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Both nations face common threats that attack their civilian populations and threaten their long-term development," he said.
"Both nations must work together to reduce cross border militancy and resolve conflicts to enhance the security of each nation and the region as a whole. I will continue to work with both nations to support a constructive bilateral relationship to support these two allies and enhance long-term stability throughout the region," Campbell said.
"To safeguard US interests in Afghanistan, we must maintain and improve our capacity to track and disrupt threat finances originating in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and from the Persian Gulf states. Future efforts need to be focused on targeting sources of terrorist funding and providing evidence to support criminal indictments and law enforcement prosecutions," he said.
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