US concerned at Afghan insurgents’ presence in Pakistan
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Senior Obama administration officials, currently on a visit to Islamabad, have voiced their concern at what they call the continued presence of Taliban and Haqqani network sanctuaries on Pakistani soil.
Special Envoy Richard Olson and Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan at the US National Security Council Dr. Peter Lavoy expressed the apprehension during their meetings at the Foreign Office and the General Headquarters (GHQ).
As the two sides clung to divergent views on the Naushki drone strike and its fallout, a knowledgeable official confided to Pajhwok Afghan News both meetings lacked the traditional warmth. Each side tended to blame the other for the latest downturn in bilateral ties.
Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz “conveyed a strong message” on the drone strike that violated Pakistan’s sovereignty and vitiated Pak-US ties, the Foreign Office said.
“Any future drone strike in Pakistan will be detrimental to our common desire to strengthen relations,”. Aziz warned, saying violence had surged in Afghanistan after the Naushki attack. The raid has set back the Afghan reconciliation effort, he claimed.
Separately, the army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, also informed the visiting delegation that the drone raid had affected mutual trust and respect. The incident had also dealt a blow to ongoing efforts for reconciliation in Afghanistan, he said.
In response, the American diplomats referred to the presence of Taliban and Haqqani network sanctuaries on Pakistani soil -- a threat to the region and the US national security interests.
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