Islamabad, Nov 6: US Central Command chief General David Petraeus, whose Pakistan visit ended on Wednesday, Nov 5 said that Pakistan was fighting its own war on terror because it faced an 'existential threat from the situation in the Tribal Areas.'
Giving an account of his talks with Pakistani leadership, Petraeus said: "In general there is mutual agreement on the nature of the threat in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, a threat that they increasingly see as a threat to Pakistan's existence." "This is not our war that Pakistan is waging. This is their war and it is a result of extremists carrying out acts of truly indiscriminate violence," the Daily Times quoted Gen Petraeus as saying. Petraeus met senior Pakistani civilian and military leaders and discussed the nature of Al Qaeda threat within Pakistan, the US drone attacks on suspected Taliban targets in Pakistani territory, and enhancing mutual co-operation.
Among those he met were Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, National Security Adviser Mehmud Ali Durrani, Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Tariq Majid, and Inter-Services Intelligence Director-General Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha. He also visited Peshawar and had 'very positive and candid' discussions with the governor and the chief minister of the NWFP and the commanders of the army's 11th Corps and the Frontier Corps.
Earlier, on Tuesday, Gen Petraeus had said that he would consider Pakistan's rising criticism of US missile strikes on suspected Taliban targets in its Tribal Areas. Pakistani leaders had told him that air-strikes strikes fanned anti-American sentiment in Pakistan, and that it was difficult to convince the Pakistani populace as such strikes violated Pakistan's sovereignty.
Petraeus was in Pakistan as part of his first international trip since taking over US Central Command last week, a post that puts him in charge of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.