Pak facing existential threat from western border, not India Gates

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Washington, Sep.9 (ANI): US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said Pakistan has realized that the Taliban and other extremists based in the western tribal area of the country pose the real existential threat to it rather than India.

In an interview with a private television channel, Gates said Pakistan has acknowledged that the real threat to its existence come from the extremists based in the lawless tribal areas along the Afghan border and not from India.

"Pakistan faces a lot of problems right now. I think they have always thought of India as the existential threat to Pakistan, but I think they are beginning to understand that the extremists in the ungoverned spaces in their west have become an existential threat," Gates said.

He said Washington wants Islamabad to take hard action against the Taliban and other extremist outfits having their base inside its territory.

Gates said the Obama Administration is ready to provide all help and encourage Pakistan to act sincerely against the banned outfits.

"Pakistan will be encouraged to take action in some of its ungoverned spaces in the western part of the country, where the Taliban and al-Qaida have taken sanctuary," The News quoted Gates, as saying.

He highlighted that the situation in western Pakistan went out of hand due to withdrawal of the security forces from the region.

"Now, the Pakistanis are back in the fight. They have been an important source of support for us. Almost all of our supplies, about 80 percent of our dry cargo, moves through Pakistan to Afghanistan, and they have helped provide protection for the convoys," Gates added. (ANI)

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