US says Pak has to do more to dismantle terror safe havens operating on its soil

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Kabul, Apr.20 (ANI): The United States has once again urged Pakistan to do more to dismantle the terror safe havens operating on its soil.

Addressing a joint press conference with Afghan Defense Minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak, top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, said that the terror breeding grounds in Pakistan were destabilizing the whole region.

"There must be an improved effort on the other side of the border against these safe havens that many of these insurgent groups operate from in Pakistan."

Mc Kiernan said that the terror safe havens have existed for long in this part of the world, and that they have been nourishing terrorism and insecurity on both sides of the border.

He said that the Pakistan Government must ensure to the world that it is sincere in its efforts to root out these centers of militancy from its soil, and added that the international community is ready to extend its full support over the issue.

"I think it is safe to say there is an expectation that the government of Pakistan must erase these safe havens so that they are not a threat to their own country and the region. They will have the full support of the international community to do that," The Dawn quoted McKiernan, as saying.

Referring to the Obama administration's decision to send in 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan to join the fight against Taliban and Al-Qaeda, McKiernan said his prime focus would be on southern provinces near Pakistan that have seen the greatest rise in instability.

When enquired about the possibility of US troops operating inside Pakistan's geographical territory, McKiernan said he had no power to intervene on the Pakistani side of the border.

"Insecurity and instability is a regional problem and will require regional approaches," he added. (ANI)

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