News / Asia

    US Accuses Pakistan of Exporting Violence to Afghanistan

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta looks on as Admiral Michael Mullen testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington on Sept. 22, 2011.
    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta looks on as Admiral Michael Mullen testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington on Sept. 22, 2011.
    Luis Ramirez

    The U.S. military's top officer has accused Pakistan of supporting attacks by the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network on U.S. targets in Afghanistan, including last week's assault on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.


    The future of the U.S. relationship with Pakistan has come into greater question as the United States prepares to draw down its troop presence in Afghanistan. That relationship, which became significantly more tense following the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil earlier this year, has seen another sharp downturn with accusations by top U.S. officials that Pakistan was complicit in recent attacks in Aghanistan.

    VOA's Steve Norman speaks with Colonel Cedric Leighton, U.S. Air Force (Retired) and former Deputy Director of the U.S. National Security Agency, about the U.S. trust level of the Pakistani leadership:

    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen told a U.S. Senate hearing Thursday that he is concerned about the impunity with which the Haqqani network and other extremist groups are allowed to operate from Pakistan. He said Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, supported the truck bomb attack by Haqqani operatives on a NATO base on September 10 that wounded 77 U.S. soldiers, and the attack two days later on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.  

    Mullen said the Haqqani network’s ties to Pakistan’s government are deep.

    "The Haqqani network, for one, acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan’s internal services intelligence agency.

    Admiral Mullen also said he believes the United States should remain engaged with Islamabad. He has met with his Pakistani counterpart several times. But he warned that the relationship - and the future of Pakistan - could be in danger if the country continues to support extremists.

    "By exporting violence, they’ve eroded their internal security and their position in the region. They’ve undermined their regional credibility and threatened their economic well being. Only a decision to break with this policy can pave the road to a positive future for Pakistan," he said.

    Mullen spoke alongside U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who told senators the presence of safe havens in Pakistan is giving the insurgents advantages they have otherwise lost.

    "We cannot allow terrorists to have safe havens from which they launch attacks and kill our forces. We cannot allow that to happen and we have to bring pressure on the Pakistanis to do their part to confront that issue," said Panetta.

    Analyst Michael O’Hanlon at the Brookings Institution called the accusations against Paksitan a stunning development and a sign that U.S. frustration with Pakistan has reached a peak.

    "I think Pakistan is just going to have to wake up and smell the roses that this is not consistent with an ongoing relationship in which the United States provides $3.5 a year in aid," said O’Hanlon. "Pakistan may feel they’re protected against an American reaction because we need their territory to bring in supplies and at some level that’s probably true. That’s why the aid level won’t go down to zero, but that and other things, I believe, are now at risk as a result of this very blunt assessment."

    Pakistan’s government rejects U.S. accusations that it is helping extremists and says it is cooperating with the United States in the battle on militants in the region. The country’s interior minister says the Haqqani network is not operating in Pakistan.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora