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)

    Multimedia

    Audio
    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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora