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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid