Pak's cooperation a turning point in the Afghan war, says Clinton

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Washington, Feb.18 (ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday described Pakistan's cooperation in the war against terror as serving the best interests of both countries.

While refusing to comment on the ongoing operation against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, The Dawn quoted Clinton, as saying: "I can express our appreciation for the increasing cooperation between the United States and Pakistan. It is something that I personally believe is in the best interest of both of our countries."

Describing the Taliban as a common enemy, she said that the effort to combat the militant group "requires this level of partnership".

Asked if she believed that the Pakistanis were finally getting tough on the Taliban; Clinton said: "I think the Pakistanis recognise that violent extremists inside of Pakistan now pose a direct threat to their state."

In interviews to three different television channels, Clinton noted that "indiscriminate killings" of Pakistani civilians and "horrifying bombings" carried out by the militants during the last several months helped convince the Pakistanis that the Taliban were their real enemy.

"I mean, horrific bombings that have been just hard to even believe, bombing religious processions and mosques, and people playing volley ball and women and children in markets," she observed.

"I mean there is no explanation, other than just cruelty and violence for the sake of violence, and the intimidation that could lead, in the eyes of the extremists, to some kind of secession of territory," she added.

"But I think the Pakistanis, across the board in their leadership, recognise that standing firm against this threat is important to their future."

Describing why the US administration was reluctant to talk about the biggest catch (Baradar's arrest) since 9/11, Clinton said: "We think less is better, in terms of what anyone knows, or what anyone might speculate on. But the general point is one that I would underscore, that the cooperation is increasing, and it is very valuable." (ANI)

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