London, Feb.11 : A Western military official has said that the failures of the Pakistan army in pinning down al Qaeda and Taliban elements on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border puts the West at constant risk of an attack from these extremist elements.
Staung that the Pakistan armed forces are ill-equipped and untrained in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations, the official warned of extremist attacks becoming large scale and unmanageable.
"If we [the West] have a reasonable degree of co-operation it may take two to three years for them [the Pakistan military] to be bought up to a level. But realistically the way things are going, it will take five years," he told The Telegraph.
He said there is a possibility if another catastrophic event taking place in the West.
Describing the Pakistan military as a "dinosaur of an institution" despite it receiving 10 billion dollars in American assistance, he said: "We have not being getting the bang for our buck."
The official further listed the Pakistani military's deficiencies, which ranged from the army's incapacity to launch multiple operations, poor military intelligence, hostility to Western military training and a denial among many officers that militancy poses a threat to Pakistan.
His warning came as a senior US official in Washington claimed that Osama bin Laden and the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar were operating from Pakistan's tribal areas, in what was the most explicit claim of its kind made in recent years by America.
Pakistan, however, dismissed the claim as "baseless," adding that Islamabad would take action if the US provided it with intelligence to support the statement.
Pakistan has deployed about 100,000 troops to the tribal region where about 1,000 of them have been killed.
US military advisers are helping the Pakistanis to double the size of their elite commando force and teaching specialised fighting techniques, such as helicopter assaults. They have started a five-year programme to train and equip the Frontier Corps, a colonial-era paramilitary unit, the paper said.