US 'skeptical' about Pak peace deal with pro-Taliban militants in NWFP

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Washington, June 18 : Citing the failed peace deals with extremists in the past, the US State Department has said that it was skeptical about the peace deal signed earlier this month between Pakistani authorities and pro-Taliban Islamist militants in NWFP areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The peace deal was signed with the tribal areas elders, according to which the extremists would not launch attacks on the civilians and, in return, the Pakistan government would not attack the terrorists' sanctuaries along the Pak-Afghan international border.

A State Department spokesman said that care should be taken to ensure nothing is done that would undermine the security either of Pakistan or of Afghanistan. "We've seen similar kinds of agreements reached in the past that have not been successful," The News quoted the US State Department spokesman Tom Casey as telling reporters.

He added: "I think there's a healthy degree of skepticism as to exactly how effective these kinds of agreements can be. Certainly, while we are open to any kind of agreement that would in fact end terrorist violence and bring those outside the political process into it."

Casey further said: "In the end, we want to make sure that nothing is done that would undermine the security either of Pakistan or of Afghanistan."

ANI

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