US calls on Pak to tighten security along Afghan

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Washington, Jul 17: The Bush administration has called on Pakistan to tighten security along its border with Afghanistan to stop the flow of insurgents.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen who gave this call at a joint press conference on Wednesday July 16, said this movement of insurgents needs to stop. Admiral Mullen said he has told Pakistani leaders during a visit to Islamabad last week that ''the porous border is a key factor in the increase of insurgent attacks in Afghanistan, and that Pakistan must take steps to improve the situation. and we're looking a greater number of insurgents and foreign fighters flowing across the border with Pakistan unmolested and unhindered. This movement needs to stop.'' He said insurgents used safe havens in Pakistan to train for '' bolder, more sophisticated'' operations, like the attack on a US-Afghan outpost last weekend that killed nine US troops.

Admiral Mullen, however, denied Pakistani news reports that he gave an ultimatum to Pakistani leaders during his meetings last week that if Pakistan did not take action along the border, the United States would take appropriate step.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates denied reports of a US buildup on the Afghan side of the border in preparation for an incursion.

But he declined to rule out US action in the future. '' We will take defence actions. Secretary Gates said, ''we have taken defensive actions when fired upon from places right across the border. Generally that's been counter-artillery. And beyond that, I think I won't say."

UNI

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