Al-Qaeda's presence in Pak most important issue: US Senators

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Washington, Dec.4 (ANI): Expressing concern over the deteriorating condition in the AfPak region, US lawmakers have pointed out that the presence of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and the increasing threat to that country's nukes were the two most important determining factors regarding the outcome of the 'war on terror' in Afghanistan.

Addressing a hearing on President Obama's revamped Afghan strategy at the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Senator John Kerry said situation in Pakistan would determine the outcome of the Afghan war.

'What happens in Pakistan ... will do more to determine the outcome in Afghanistan than any increase in troops or shift in strategy," Kerry said.

"The 'presence of Al Qaeda in Pakistan, its direct ties to and support from the Taliban in Afghanistan and the perils of an unstable, nuclear-armed Pakistan that drive our mission," he added.

Senator Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the committee, highlighted that Pakistan's nuclear weapons has made it a 'riskier landscape than Afghanistan.'

Lugar stressed on the need of dismantling the terror safe havens presence inside Pakistan geographical, saying it is directly related to the success of the Afghan policy.

"It is not clear how any expanded military effort in Afghanistan addresses the problem of Taliban and Al Qaeda safe havens across the border in Pakistan.If these safe havens persist, any strategy in Afghanistan will be substantially incomplete," he pointed out.

Addressing the House, Secretary of States Hillary Clinton described extremist groups operating from Pakistan's lawless tribal areas as a 'syndicate' headed by Al Qaeda.

"At the head of the table, like a 'Mafia family', sat Al Qaeda. And that means, that Al Qaeda retained a capability to export terrorism to Yemen, Somalia or, indeed, Denver," The Dawn quoted Clinton, as saying. (ANI)

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