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Pakistan Wants US to Do More to Bring Security to Afghanistan - 2003-09-09


Pakistan wants the United States to do more to bring security and stability to Afghanistan, and has asked for an end to accusations that members of the ousted Taleban are regrouping and organizing attacks from Pakistani territory.

Afghan and U.S. officials have persistently accused Pakistan of not doing enough to block the movement of Taleban guerrillas on its volatile border with Afghanistan.

But Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri said such allegations will not help resolve the security problems in Afghanistan. "There are problems and sometimes we are told to do more. Of course, all of us can do more. We can do more, the Afghans can do more, and the Americans can also do more because their focus had been shifted to Iraq," he said.

Mr. Kasuri said the intelligence agencies of both Afghanistan and Pakistan need to exchange more information to enhance the fight against terrorism. "Any insecurity in Afghanistan has a direct impact on Pakistan. So we are prepared to do more and it is in our collective interest that things are improved. But no purpose will be served by simply asking Pakistan to do more," he said.

Mr. Kasuri was speaking at a ceremony in the Pakistani capital to hand over the first consignment of five million textbooks in the Dari and Pashto languages that Pakistan is donating to Afghanistan. The commitment to supply the textbooks to the war-ravaged country has reportedly interfered with the printing of books for Pakistan's own school children, drawing some public criticism.

Members of the former Taleban government, have stepped up attacks against Afghan and U.S.-led foreign troops in southern and eastern Afghanistan. They apparently are an effort to destabilize the internationally backed government of President Hamid Karzai.

Two-years ago the U.S.-led anti-terrorism coalition removed the Taleban Islamic militia from power for harboring Osama bin Laden, the alleged leader of the September 2001 attacks in the United States.

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