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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.