'If you lose tribal areas, you lose Pakistan'

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Lahore, Apr.26 (ANI): Former Pakistan High Commissioner to Britain Akbar Ahmad has said that it is very important for Islamabad to safeguard the tribal regions along the Afghan border because once this territory caves in to the hands of the extremists, the task to prevent the whole country from being toppled over by the insurgents would become much more difficult.

"If you lose them, then you lose Pakistan, followed by Afghanistan, The Daily Times quoted Ahmad, as saying.

Ahmed, however said that the 'existential threat' to Pakistan is overrated.

"A functioning political, civil and military structure exists in Pakistan which will prevent collapse of the state," he said.

Ahmed said that Taliban's invasion into Buner, just 60 miles away from the federal capital Islamabad, was not surprising, and that the bigger danger would be that of Mardan falling into the Taliban's hand.

"The bigger danger is what happens in Mardan, the most fertile and heavily populated part of the NWFP. If Pakistan loses control of Peshawar, it would be checkmate for the Western troops there," he added.

Ahmed also criticized the United States for continuously hammering Pakistan about its will and capability to tackle the issue. (ANI)

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