US praises Pakistan's cooperation in war on terror
“We applaud the actions of Pakistan's intelligence and security services that led to the capture of this senior Al Qaida operative who was involved in planning attacks against the interests of the United States and many, many other countries,” the State Department spokesman, Victoria Nuland, said.
“This action dealt another blow to al-Qaida and is an example of the long-standing partnership we have and an example of the kind of counterterrorism operations that helps the security of Pakistan, helps the security of the United States and helps the security of the whole region,” she said.
“We remain committed to our continued cooperation and we will continue to work at it in our mutual interest,” Nuland said at her daily news conference.
Meanwhile in an interview to the popular Charlie Rose show, the Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, said that Pakistan’s cooperation has increased in recent months. “They just, as a matter of fact, within the last 24 hours, caught an individual called Mauritani who is someone that we’ve been after for a long time,” Panetta said.
So they have in fact worked with us in a number of ways to go after those kinds of targets, and they’ve indicated a willingness to do that,” he said.
“At the same time I think we have to recognize that Pakistan is a critical country in that region of the world, not only in terms of trying to give us some cooperation in the war that we are conducting there, but also because they are a nuclear power, also because they themselves are in the effort to try to confront terrorism there, but also because they can be extremely important to us in the effort to provide stability in Afghanistan and other areas,” Panetta said.
At the same time, Panetta warned that the US would go after high value terrorists wherever they are inside Pakistan to defend itself. “And al-Qaeda, without question, had a large presence in the FATA, the tribal areas of Pakistan. They were planning, continuing to plan to attack our country from there. And I made very clear to the Pakistanis that the United States of America is going to defend ourselves. And if that means going after them in the FATA, we will,” he said.
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