‘AfPak review to tell Pak to do more against terrorism’

The annual AfPak policy review would ask Pakistan for urgency on its part to do more in the war against terrorism in the region and prevent the continued presence of terrorist safe havens inside its territories, a top U.S. official has said.

“We’re certainly clear with our partners in Pakistan on this. I think it will be clear, again, in the document that as we’ve seen greater cooperation, our challenges there remain,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters when asked if the U.S. this time would use blunt language about what Pakistan needs to do.

The White House is finalizing the review of the AfPak policy announced by Mr. Obama last December which resulted in sending thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan and the announcement that the US will start to withdraw troops from July 2011.

U.S. President Barack Obama would announce the annual AfPak policy review on December 16.

There is three aspects of the review -- Afghanistan, al-Qaeda and Pakistan, Mr. Gibbs told reporters after President Obama chaired a nearly two hour meeting of his national security advisors that gave final shape to the review.

“We have seen over the course of many months an increased willingness to cooperate from the Pakistanis. But as you saw in both -- you’ll see in this review and in reports that have been sent up I think early fall, late last summer, that there are things that we still need Pakistan to continue to cooperate with us more on and continue to do in order to prevent further safe havens from impacting the progress that ultimately can be made in Afghanistan,” he said.

“I think you have seen in areas dealing with each of the three aspects of the report -- the momentum with the -- stopping and stemming some of the momentum of the Taliban, increased cooperation with the Pakistanis, and the degradation of al-Qaeda leadership -- progress on all three of those fronts, with challenges small and great that continue.”

One of the central challenges that remain was the safe haven in Pakistan by a “whole series of people” which makes security and progress in Afghanistan more demanding, he added.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 7:52:49 PM |

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