Washington: United States President Barack Obama has warned that extremists pose a serious threat to Pakistan's sovereignty and pointed out that Islamabad had realised that it was not India but the “cancer” of terrorism emanating from its own territory that was its primary concern.
“I think there has been in the past a view on the part of Pakistan that their primary rival, India, was their only concern,” he said at a joint press conference with visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai here on Wednesday night.
Mr. Obama said: “I think what you've seen over the last several months is a growing recognition that they have a cancer in their midst; that the extremist organisations that have been allowed to congregate and use as a base the frontier areas to then go into Afghanistan – that now threatens Pakistan's sovereignty,” he said.
Old bad habits
His administration's goal was to break down some of the old suspicions and the old bad habits and continue to work with the Pakistani government to see their interest in a stable Afghanistan that was free from foreign meddling.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, the U.S. and the international community should all be working to reduce the influence of extremists in those regions, Mr. Obama said.
“I am actually encouraged by what I've seen from the Pakistani government over the last several months. But just as it's going to take some time for Afghanistan's economy, for example, to fully recover from 30 years of war, it's going to take some time for Pakistan, even where there is a will, to find a way in order to effectively deal with these extremists in areas that are fairly loosely governed from Islamabad.”
Mr. Obama praised the recent steps taken by Pakistan against extremist elements inside the country.
“You know, part of what I've been encouraged by is Pakistan's willingness to start asserting more control over some of these areas, but it's not going to happen overnight. And, you know, they have been taking enormous casualties, the Pakistani military has been going in fairly aggressively, but this will be an ongoing project,” he said.
Referring to the 45-minute meeting he had at the Oval office with Mr. Karzai, Mr. Obama said they discussed the fact that the only way ultimately that Pakistan was secure was if Afghanistan was secure.
“The only way that Afghanistan is secure is if the sovereignty, the territorial integrity, the Afghan Constitution, the Afghan people are respected by their neighbours. We think that that message is starting to get through, but it's one that we have to continue to promote,” he said.
Mr. Obama reassured Mr. Karzai that the U.S. would not abandon Afghanistan after its proposed troop withdrawal next year, — PTI
I am actually worried about this, Obama keeps trying to make the point that India is not Pak's enemy, so next time there is a terror attack in India, he is likely to do his best to stop Indian govt from taking any kind of serious action against Pakistan, because that would damage his 'Terror, not India' argument.
We already know this US administration has been pushing India to resume dialog, but not pushing Pakistan to dismantle LeT, even today most American diplomats talk about Terror camps in NWFP, but not about camps in PoK or Punjab where anti-India militants are trained.
Empty Words from Obama! The Only way to stop Pakistan is for the USA to threaten or impose partial sanctions on its miliatry, so that they wake up and act. I mean stop the Frigates, and F16s for a while and tell Pakistan Army to clean up, or face the music. I am sure faced with the possibility of Harsh Sanctions on its Hardware, PA will relent! And If America keeps on turning a blind eye towards the Terrorists Pakistan sends towards Kashmir, India, then it will pay a heavy price, coz of its short sightedness!
nice images, but does not US do any operations in POK region.......
it said before it will the terror camps any where in there world, is POK not in the world.
is POK terror camps only Cancer to India, not Pak?
US President Barack Obama has said that there is growing recognition among Pakistani leaders that the `cancer’ of terrorism is the primary threat to Pakistan’s sovereignty and not India.
“I think there has been in the past a view on the part of Pakistan that their primary rival, India, was their only concern. I think what you’ve seen over the last several months is a growing recognition that they have a cancer in their midst; that the extremist organisations that have been allowed to congregate and use as a base the frontier areas to then go into Afghanistan, that that now threatens Pakistan’s sovereignty,” Mr Obama said at a joint press conference with Afghan president Hamid Karzai. He further maintained that he was encouraged by what he has seen from the Pakistani government over the last several months.
“But just as it’s going to take some time for Afghanistan’s economy, for example, to fully recover from 30 years of war, it’s going to take some time for Pakistan, even where there is a will, to find a way in order to effectively deal with these extremists in areas that are fairly loosely governed from Islamabad,’’ he maintained.
His remarks follow some tough talking by US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and show Washington’s ‘dual policy’ towards Islamabad. ``He is telling Pakistan we still have problems with you but you are still important to us,’’ said former Indian envoy to Pakistan G Parthasarathy. ``He has gone out of his way to save Pakistan.
Though New Delhi has initiated the dialogue process with Islamabad, there is low expectation of any real outcome on the terror front. Experts believe that the Pakistani Army — which is the central figure — has not shed its anti-India policies and continues to perceive terror as a state policy.
``US secretary of state Hillary Clinton issues a statement that sounded tough... but the real issue is has the military leadership in Pakistan changed its stand,’’ asked former foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh. ``I don’t think there is any change in Pakistan’s approach on issue of terrorism.’’ He further noted that this kind of observation from the US on Pakistan has come earlier too.
Mr Obama maintained that the US aim is to build trust and continue working with the Pakistani government. “Our goal is to break down some of the old suspicions and the old bad habits and continue to work with the Pakistani government to see their interest in a stable Afghanistan which is free from foreign meddling — and that Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States, the international community, should all be working to reduce the influence of extremists in those regions,’’ he said. He also said that the US is encouraged by Pakistan’s willingness to start asserting more control over some of these areas. ``But it’s not going to happen overnight. And they have been taking enormous casualties; the Pakistani military has been going in fairly aggressively. But this will be a ongoing project,’’ he added.
I think people must not go by words which obama and his officials utter.They must look for ominous signs of usa actions on the ground.....there has been let up in drone strikes (4 so far in less than 2 weeks) after faisal shazad's failed time square bombing on May 1...Now Al Jazeera is reporting that usa afghan force had crossed into pakistan.Dont know how true it is but it will be only 2nd time when usa had crossed into pakistan first being during bush's regime.
Afghan and foreign forces are reported to have crossed into Pakistan in pursuit of undisclosed targets as a military offensive appears to be spilling across the border.
The military operation started on Thursday in the Datta Khel region of Pakistan's Waziristan province, Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder said.
"Some kind of military operation is under way on the Afghan side of the border and local tribal sources have said that there is intense fighting happening close to the Pakistan side of the border," Hyder reporting from Islamabad, said.
"A skirmish was said to have taken place in bordering Afghanistan with Taliban fighters who then tried to penetrate into Pakistan.
"Local media also said that a major offensive might be on the way on the Afghan side possibly over Taliban targets."
Pakistani military officials said the reports were baseless.
Our correspondent said that it was not yet clear as to whether the skirmish was an operation aimed at targets inside Pakistan.
"The Pakistani military does not have any joint operations on its territory nor does it get involved on the Afghan side of the border, so it would appear that this is an Afghan, American, Nato operation going under way on the Afghan side of the border," he said
Whenever these operations take place so close to the border areas, there is confused because there is not light, it is night time so its very difficult to know what is going on."