Washington, Apr 18: A new US report on combating terrorism in Pakistan has said that terrorists were still operating freely in Pakistan along its Afghanistan border, particularly in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). It said that since 2002, destroying the terrorist threat and closing the terrorist safe haven have been key national security goals, but terrorists still ruled the roost in these areas.
The report, prepared by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), said that the US has provided Pakistan, more than 10.5 billion dollars for military, economic, and development activities, but FATA, a tribal area in Pakistan bordering Afghanistan, is a vast un-policed regions attractive to extremists and terrorists seeking a safe haven.
The GAO was asked to assess firstly the progress in meeting these national security goals for Pakistan's FATA, and secondly the status of US efforts to develop a comprehensive plan for the FATA.
To address these objectives, GAO compared national security goals against assessments conducted by US agencies and reviewed available plans. According to its findings, the US has not met its national security goals to destroy terrorist threats and close the safe haven in Pakistan's FATA. Since 2002, the US relied principally on the Pakistan military to address US national security goals. Of the approximately 5.8 billion dollars the US provided for efforts in the FATA and border region from 2002 through 2007, about 96 percent reimbursed Pakistan for military operations there.
GAO found that Al Qaeda had regenerated its ability to attack the US and had succeeded in establishing a safe haven in Pakistan's FATA. No comprehensive plan for meeting US national security goals in the FATA has been developed, as stipulated by the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism in 2003, which called for by an independent commission, mandated by congressional legislation in 2007, the Daily Times quoted the report as saying.