Taliban would not be allowed to sneak into Pak from Afghanistan: Holbrooke

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Islamabad, July 24 (ANI): The United States would not allow the Taliban to sneak into Pakistan from Afghanistan and is working out a strategy for it, US Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke said before leaving Pakistan for Afghanistan after a two-day visit.

Holbrooke said the US would not repeat its mistakes that it did in 2001 when hundreds of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters slipped into Pakistan's border region following the US led surge after 9/11.

The extremists have regrouped in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas and launched a more aggressive 'war' against the NATO troops engaged in Afghanistan, and therefore, Pakistan is apprehensive about the latest US surge in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province.

Holbrooke, however, said there is no proof that the Taliban had escaped from Helmland to Pakistan, but reiterated that America is serious about Islamabad's concerns.

"So far they haven't really showed up, but we want to avoid the mistake of 2002 when US offensives ignored the consequences in Pakistan. A key thing is the coordination between the Afghan army and Pakistani army," he said.

Holbrooke added that it was important to nab Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud.

"I think Baitullah Mehsud is one of the most dangerous and odious people in the region and the United States had paid insufficient attention to him until recently," The Nation quoted Holbrooke, as saying. (ANI)

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