Rice says Pak's policy of holding talks with extremists can't resolve FATA problem

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Washington, Aug 10 : US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice has reportedly said that there was no negotiated settlement to the problem of extremism in FATA, and that the Pakistan government should not talks with extremists in the region because some of them were not in a reconciliatory mood.

She said instead the new democratic government in Pakistan should lay focus on providing education and strengthening infrastructure for the area's overall development.

"There are certain irreconcilables who could not be engaged. You also have to do it through longer-term ways of providing education, for the people who might now study in radical madressahs, study in schools that will teach them skills," she said.

"You have to do it through the economic and social development of places like the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which are deadly poor - really poor," the Dawn quoted Rice as saying in an interview with the Washington-based political media outlet "The Politico".

"There are elements in Pakistan that one worries about and they had connections to the militants in the region, but the country remains a strong US ally, she added.

Commenting on Islamabad's approach to engage the militants for seeking a negotiated settlement of the problem of terrorism, the secretary said: "There are also clearly efforts that we think are not working to have deals, if you will, or negotiated solutions to the militant problem. But the point is that these militants are as deadly and dangerous for Pakistan as they are for Afghanistan."

When asked why was the US reluctant to take a bolder and tougher stance on Pakistan's failure to control terrorism, Ms Rice said: "I think we're taking a pretty bold stand. And by the way, the Pakistanis themselves understand that they need to take a bolder stand."

She acknowledged that extremism had taken a place in Pakistan in part because of the transit of extremist elements coming out of Afghanistan after the defeat of the Soviet Union.

ANI

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