Kabul, June 3 : Without taking names, NATO Commander in Afghanistan Gen Dan McNeill has asked Pakistan to tackle terrorism seriously, and said that the fact that Islamabad was not taking up a serious fight against terrorism did not bode well not only for Pakistan but for entire South Asia.
McNeill (61) steps down today as commanding officer of the 40-nation International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and he would be replaced by US Gen. David D. McKiernan, the commanding general of the US Army in Europe.
"If there are insurgencies in places that are not in Afghanistan but are very close by, and security forces are not taking them on, I don't think that bodes well for the whole region. And not only that, it probably doesn't bode well for where that insurgency is," the Daily Times quoted Neill as saying in a clear reference to Pakistan.
When asked if he is calling on Pakistan to take action against militants, McNeill said that was a politician's job. "I'm simply a soldier," he said.
The NATO commander further said: "Burning a brush fire, or allowing one to burn, on a windy day is a very dangerous business. You do not know where the flames and embers will end up. And if you see in your yard that you have a brush fire burning, you probably ought to attend to it."
The outgoing general said that Afghanistan most urgently needed an effective police force. The police is some 70,000 strong, close to its target strength, but the force still needed additional training.