‘United States will pursue Pakistan-based militants’
On board a US military aircraft, Sep 15: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta expressed frustration with Pakistan's government yesterday, warning that the US will not allow the attacks on US forces from Pakistan-based insurgents like the Haqqani network to continue.
Pointing to the 20-hour assault against the US embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, that finally ended yesterday,
Panetta said it is unacceptable that the Haqqanis are able to launch such deadly attacks and then flee to safety across the border in Pakistan.
"The message they need to know is: we're going to do everything we can to defend our forces," Panetta told reporters traveling with him to San Francisco, California, for meetings with Australian officials.
He refused to say whether the US plans to take any new military actions, but there has been an escalating US campaign of drone strikes into Pakistan's border regions. The Haqqanis are a lethal group based in Pakistan's lawless border area of Pakistan.
"Time and again we've urged the Pakistanis to exercise their influence over these kinds of attacks from the Haqqanis, and we have made very little progress in that area," Panetta said.
"I'm not going to talk about how we're going to respond. ... We're not going to allow these types of attacks to go on."
US officials have blamed the Haqqani network for the nearly daylong assault on the heavily guarded Afghan capital.
The attack left 27 dead, including police, civilians and attackers, officials said.
Panetta's remarks reflect growing US impatience over Islamabad's reluctance to go after the Haqqanis, who are connected to both the Taliban and al-Qaida and present the most significant threat to Afghanistan's stability. AP
Lastupdate on : Thu, 15 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 15 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 16 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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