News / Asia

Pakistan Army Chief Optimistic on Defeating Insurgents

Pakistan's chief of army staff General Ashfaq Kayani (file photo)
Pakistan's chief of army staff General Ashfaq Kayani (file photo)

Multimedia

Audio

Pakistan’s Army Commander says his forces have "broken the back" of the insurgents and he hoped that soon that what he described as the war on terror would be won following hardships and sacrifices.  His statements on Saturday come as the U.S.-Pakistani relationship is strained over how to proceed in anti-terrorism efforts and the war in Afghanistan.

Speaking at this years graduation ceremony at the Pakistani Military Academy, General Ashfaq Kayani said he believed the insurgents and extremists in Pakistan, linked to the Taliban and al-Qaida,  would soon be defeated.

"In the war against terrorism, our officers and soldiers have made great sacrifices and have achieved tremendous success... the terrorist backbone has been broken and inshallah [God willing] we will soon prevail," he said.

The Pakistani army chief’s words come amid continued difficulty between Pakistan’s leadership and the U.S. over how to proceed in the war effort.

In recent weeks rounds of shuttle diplomacy have done little to defuse the situation despite a number of trips by both sides to the other partner’s capitols.

Earlier this week the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen,  traveled to Islamabad to conduct high level meetings with Pakistani officials, including General Kayani.

While here he conducted an interview with a local television network in which he said the U.S. had intelligence that certain members of the Pakistani military, along with the country’s intelligence agency, the ISI, had ties to extremists groups such as the Haqqani Network- a group with strong ties to the Taliban and al-Qaida.

"The ISI has a long-standing relationship with the Haqqani network," said Adm. Mullen.  "That doesn't mean everybody in the ISI, but it's there. I also have an understanding that the ISI and Pakmil [Pakistan military] exist to protect their own citizens. And there's a way, there's a way that they have done that [had relations with the Haqqani group] for a long period of time. I believe over time that's got to change."

That statement further angered the establishment here.  Many disputed the claim as "negative U.S. propaganda."

The ties between the two countries have been strained for months following the fatal shooting of two Pakistani men by CIA contractor Raymond Davis.

On the U.S. side, there is frustration that the Pakistanis are perceived not to be doing enough to rein in extremists or stop cross-border traffic by militants from Afghanistan. Many groups fighting against U.S. and NATO forces find safe haven in the lawless frontier between the two countries.

In order to strike at those safe havens the U.S. often uses unmanned drones and many Pakistanis are furious about this, as they see it as a breach of their sovereignty.

Just after Admiral Mullen’s visit this week a drone strike struck a meeting in North Waziristan reportedly killing 26.  The dead included militants but also reportedly some women and children.

Some political activists here say they will begin blocking the vital NATO supply line into Afghanistan if the drone attacks are not stopped.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid