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Updated: October 5, 2010 09:15 IST

No change in Af-Pak policy: Obama

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U.S. President Barack Obama. File photo
U.S. President Barack Obama. File photo

Asserting that the implementation of the current Afghanistan and Pakistan policy is “progressing on track”, President Barack Obama has told the United States Congress that there is no need to change the current policy of his administration on the two nations.

“We are continuing to implement the policy as described in December and do not believe further adjustments are required at this time,” Mr. Obama said in a letter to the House and Senate leadership along with his six-monthly report to the Congress on Afghanistan and Pakistan as mandated by it.

“The President does not believe that there needs to be a policy shift at this time, but that our current efforts are proceeding on track to achieve the necessary commitment and unity of effort needed to meet our goal in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Benjamin Chang, spokesperson of the National Security Council, White House, told PTI.

This report to Congress is an assessment of government of Afghan and Pakistani governments’ commitment, capability, conduct, and unity of purpose to the president’s Afghanistan-Pakistan policy, he said.

“The report outlines a number of challenges, but also highlights progress, where appropriate, and outlines US’ efforts to assist the respective governments to achieve the stated policy goals,” Mr. Chang said.

“This is the second report submitted under section 1117 of the Act and follows my March 2010 submission,” Mr. Obama wrote in his letter to the leadership of the US House of Representatives and the Senate, adding that the after the last report in March, the US has a new commander in Afghanistan — Gen David Petraeus.

“Consistent with the Act and given the time necessary to accumulate data, the attached report covers the period ending June 30, 2010. To the extent possible, the report provides an update on our assessment since that date,” Mr. Obama wrote.

“As the Congress continues its deliberations on the way ahead in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I want to continue to underscore our Nation’s interests in the successful implementation of this policy,” said the US President.

Renewed efforts by Pakistan

Earlier in the day, the White House said there has been a renewed effort by Pakistan in combating terrorism.

“In Pakistan, we have seen over the course of the past several years a renewed effort by the Pakistanis to address the threat that not just impacts us, but impacts their existence as well,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters at his daily news briefing.

“We have strong and important partnerships with Afghanistan and a strong in Pakistan, a strong ally in common pursuits to address extremism and the threat that it poses,” Mr. Gibbs said in response to a question.

“We would not be in Afghanistan were it not in their interest and our interest for us to be there, to ensure that what the Taliban once held and controlled they don’t ever control again, because we understand what that means for us: the unencumbered ability to plan and execute attacks against our country,” Mr. Gibbs said.

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