News / Asia

US Losing Patience with Pakistan, Panetta Says

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, right, speaks with U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, center, and General John Allen upon his arrival in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 7, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, right, speaks with U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, center, and General John Allen upon his arrival in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 7, 2012.
Sharon Behn
ISLAMABAD -  During a surprise visit to Afghanistan Thursday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that Washington is running out of patience with neighboring Pakistan, where Taliban, al-Qaida and Haqqani militants have safe havens. 

The defense secretary’s language towards Pakistan was unusually blunt. 

“We are reaching the limits of our patience here,” he declared.

Relations between the Washington and Islamabad have been strained for the last six months. The United States feels Pakistan could do a lot more to shut down insurgent networks that use its territory to plan, direct and conduct cross-border attacks in Afghanistan, killing Afghan and U.S. troops.
 
Panetta’s strong words came barely two weeks after the latest attack against a U.S. base called Salerno, in Afghanistan's Khost province, near the Pakistan border.  Panetta blamed members of the Pakistan-based Haqqani network for the assault.
 
“It’s an intolerable situation, to have those attacking our forces have the convenience of being able to return to a safe haven in Pakistan,” said Panetta.
 
Speaking at a joint news conference at with Afghan Defense Minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak, Panetta said it was extremely important that Pakistan take action against the militants.
 
Pakistan’s government did not immediately react to Panetta’s statements.
 
The secretary made his unannounced trip to Afghanistan Thursday to take stock of the conflict as international forces prepare to start withdrawing troops. But he said peace in Afghanistan would in part depend on Pakistan. “We’ve made it very clear that it’s difficult to secure Afghanistan as long as there is a safe haven for terrorists in Pakistan,” he said.
 
U.S. officials say a recent drone strike in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region killed al-Qaida’s number two leader, who was hiding there. Pakistan summoned U.S. diplomats to protest the ongoing campaign of drone strikes, saying they violate the country’s sovereignty.
 
Relations between the two countries have been tense since a U.S. airstrike last year killed 24 Pakistani soldiers stationed along the Afghan border. In protest, Pakistan demanded an apology and shut down NATO supply routes through its territory. Foreign troops in Afghanistan now rely more on an exit route through Central Asia in the north of Afghanistan, but it is much more costly.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: howmchbscnutak from: usa
June 12, 2012 1:25 PM
Blah Blah Blah,,,,how long are they going to regurgitation the same story line. If this is an ally....wow...where do you go from there.
on another note ..it looks like the "arab spring" is working out as well as" hope and change".

by: Malek Tauqee /Towghi from: USA
June 08, 2012 1:12 AM
On Afghanistan -- and dealing with Pakistan -- Russia also must be taken into full confidence. Dr. Malek Towghi /Tauqee, Liaison, Baloch Human Rights International

by: Anonymous
June 07, 2012 4:16 PM
War in Pakistan is coming soon as the World Powers cannot let numerous terror groups operate with 100% freedom on the ground while the crooked Pakistan government looks the other way!....

by: Qudratullah from: Pak
June 07, 2012 10:45 AM
If a woman cant ground a castrate man he must have one option of losing patience with her

by: Mike from: LA
June 07, 2012 9:25 AM
Panetta is a retard!

by: Terri from: New mexico
June 07, 2012 9:21 AM
Ok, here goes.
America spends 41% of the entire world's defense spending. America is the world heavyweight champion when it comes to the might of its military. An undisputed fact.
America has the ability to go in and wipe out this playground runt. In fact, all the playground runts and those which would run to support them. Even combined they wouldn't stand a chance.
Now I'm not for war, trust me. But as long as we the taxpayers of America are grossely overfunding this ever more expensive military machine which adds enormous amounts daily to our debt.. what difference does it make what this runt says?
If the worry is getting our equipment out from Iraq or Afghanistan when the time comes.. line their borders with fully armed aircraft on standby if needed to provide escort if needed. If an attack is launched, so be it. Respond accordingly.
I'm so sick of the middle east issues and this entire terrorism thing I've come to have the opinion.. do what it takes and shut the door on this mess. Then come home, armed to the teeth since we're spending unreal amounts to do that, and protect America and Americans. Let the rest kill themselves off.

by: sean courtney from: milwaukee
June 07, 2012 9:17 AM
The article heading is somewhat misleading in that the story is as much about our killing of civilians as it is about Pakistan. Also, as a matter of record, we seem, as a public, to be uninterested in the number of 'ordinary person' deaths we are causing in Afghanistan. One of the reasons for that is that we are never told what it actually means to be hit by the kinds of missiles we use.

by: LittleStream from: Phoenix, AZ
June 07, 2012 9:14 AM
I would say its about time we lost patience with our "ally" whom we give millions of dollars to- #1 and #2 killed on their soil. Good grief it certainly takes us a while to wake up!

by: Simba from: USA
June 07, 2012 9:11 AM
US is also loosing patience with it's own inept leaders.

by: Jan from: CA
June 07, 2012 8:45 AM
I think its unfair to lash out at Pakistan and blame Pakistan when the U.S "the Super Power" has failed to secure Afghanistan beyond the Capital Kabul.
Pakistanis have realized that the U.S uses them so they use the U.S.
U.S NEEDS to show sincerity.
you don't bomb friends ,kill their army officers and not even apologize.
Panetta needs to get off his high horse!
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
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 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 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 '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 Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
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.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs