Pakistan a threat to war on terror: Gen. Allen
WASHINGTON (PAN): The United States was on track to ensure that Afghanistan would not be used again by any terrorist outfit for an attack on its interests, a top American military commander told lawmakers on Tuesday.
“We remain on track to ensure that Afghanistan will no longer be a safe haven for Al Qaida and will no longer be terrorised by the Taliban. As a coalition, we are well aware and well along on the progress to meet our 2010 Lisbon commitments to transition security lead to the Afghan forces by December, 2014,” he siad.
General John Allen, commander of the US and NATO forces, told lawmakers at a congressional hearing that the international troops in Afghanistan knew the difference that they were making every day.
At the same time, Allen conceded, the last couple of months had been trying. “In the wake of the revelations that American troops have mishandled religious texts, to include the Koran, protests, some of them violent, occurred in several regions across Afghanistan. Thirty-two Afghans lost their lives in these riots, and even more were hurt.”
If the issue of safe haven across the border was was not resolved, he continued, more and more Afghan security forces would have to be deployed on Afghan-Pakistan frontier.
“Chances are very good that, if the issue isn’t resolved in our favor one way or the other, we'll probably have to have a larger presence of the ANSF than we had anticipated, which may require us to thin the ANSF in other places in Afghanistan.”
Allen said Pakistan continued to be a threat to the war against terrorism. “As you know, the nature of the Taliban in those safe havens differs, varies according to where they are geographically. I believe that, in the south, the southern Taliban elements out of the Quetta Shura -- their momentum has been successfully thwarted...
“It is in the east where I spend a great deal of my time focusing on the Haqqani Network and on the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and other Taliban elements, the Commander Nazir Group in Paktika, the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan,” he said.
James Miller, ISAF commander, said success in Afghanistan would depend on support from Pakistan. “Like Afghanistan's other neighbours, Pakistan has legitimate interests that should be understood and must be addressed. Pakistan also has responsibilities.”
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