News / Asia

US Envoy Confident Pakistan Will Target Militants Along Afghan Border

U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter (file photo)
U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter (file photo)
Ayaz Gul

Washington's ambassador to Pakistan says the United States is confident Pakistan will launch an anti-insurgency offensive in its border region of North Waziristan identified as the epicenter of global terrorism, despite strains on Pakistan's armed forces.

U.S. ambassador to Islamabad, Cameron Munter, says the United States has been talking closely with the Pakistani military about launching an offensive in North Waziristan.

The United States believes the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network of Afghan Taliban has established bases in North Waziristan and its fighters are involved in deadly attacks on coalition forces fighting Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.

Afghan Situation - Related Pictures

The U.S. ambassador acknowledged that Pakistani security forces have made significant counter-terrorism efforts within the past two years but he emphasized that dealing with the militant safe havens in the Waziristan district is crucial for efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.

"We see these people [militants] as our common enemy but we understand that the decision has to be made by the leadership of the Pakistani military," Munter said. "Even though this sounds like a contradiction, it is not. We would like them to move tomorrow, we would like them to take out these people tomorrow. But we understand they are telling us honestly about the capacity of their military and when they are able, we are convinced they will move in."

Pakistan has long resisted U.S. pressure to mobilize forces against these militants, saying it needs to consolidate military gains in other tribal districts along the Afghan border before it can open a front in the Waziristan region.

But ambassador Munter says his country understands Pakistan's current limitations and is working closely with its leaders to enhance the counter-insurgency capacity of the country.

"I think, there is, yes, a great amount of capacity being used in holding the ground that the Pakistani army has won at great cost," he added. "And in that sense I think it would be incorrect to define the question about North Waziristan as a question simply of will rather than capacity. I think it is wrong. I think there is a capacity issue."

The U.S. ambassador spoke to reporters a day after the Obama administration made public its annual review of the of the troop surge strategy in Afghanistan. The summary of the review says coalition forces have made "notable operation gains" in Afghanistan. Taliban insurgents have dismissed the U.S. review as "propaganda designed to create baseless hope".

The U.S. review of its strategy says progress against insurgents has not come fast enough on the Pakistani side of the border.

But Pakistani Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, has dismissed the criticism his country is not doing enough to fight extremists.

"If you see the statistics in terms of the casualties and injuries, it is Pakistan which has suffered the most in the world," said Malik. "We have done a lot. We are suffering in terms of our economy and obviously it is affecting our common man in the country."

Pakistan says that since joining the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan in late 2001and moving forces against militants in it border region, extremists have launched relentless suicide and other terrorist attacks across the country killing thousands of people, including a large number of security forces.

Pakistani officials say that the economy has also suffered billions of dollars of losses because the deteriorating security situation has discouraged much needed foreign investments in the country.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs