"Fundamental problem of Pak 'safe havens' for terrorists not going to be solved soon"

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Islamabad, Sept 18 : Regardless of the recent talks between American and Pakistani Army officials over the US unilateral strikes issue, Washington would continue to launch strikes on Pakistan's tribal areas hitting at militants' safe havens, said CBS News National Security correspondent David Martin.

He said that a fundamental problem that is not going to be solved any time soon is the "safe havens in Pakistan".

"The US has stepped up its cross border strikes, mainly using unmanned drones, and that has provoked howls of protest from Pakistan and even threats to open fire on any American troops who cross the border," said Martin.

After the meeting between US and Pakistani military officials, the American embassy in Islamabad put out a statement promising that the US would respect Pakistani sovereignty.

"What it didn't say -- but which is also true -- is the U.S. will continue to protect its troops in Afghanistan and that means going after the sanctuaries in Pakistan," he said and added: "In other words, the U.S. respects Pakistani sovereignty but will continue to violate it. Just as the U.S. regrets civilian casualties but can not -- no matter how hard it tries -- avoid them."

American officials complain Islamabad has not done enough to keep militant groups from using Pakistan's tribal belt as a base from which to plan attacks on US and NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan. The tribal areas are semi-autonomous regions where the Pakistani government has traditionally had limited influence.

"The Pakistani government has to take control on its side of the border and we are working in a variety of ways to help the Pakistani government build its capabilities," he quoted US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher as saying.

ANI

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