Pakistan Army not interested in politics: Holbrooke

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Lahore, Mar. 15 (ANI): US President Barack Obama's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, has said that the Pakistan Army is no longer interested in playing a role in the country's volatile political scene.

The Daily Times quoted him as saying that while Pakistan's political scenario is still complicated, the overall situation has improved compared to the previous year.

He pointed out that there has been a significant improvement in Pak-US relations in the last 13 months.

"In the last 13 months, since this administration took over [in the US], there has been a significant improvement across the board in the relationship between our government and the government of Pakistan," Holbrooke said.

In an interview with CNN, Holbrooke said that al Qaeda's top 10 to 12 key leaders were killed last year, and the loss of frontline leadership had put al Qaeda under tremendous pressure.

"Al Qaeda is under great pressure after losing key members of its leadership," Holbrooke said, adding that the arrest of Mullah Baradar, al Qaeda's military leader in Afghanistan, as a significant development.

Holbrooke also said the distinction between Afghan and Pakistan Taliban is eroding.

"It has allowed Pakistan to take a much more forward-leaning position. There was above all a backlash from the excesses of the Taliban in Swat, South Waziristan, and their attacks in places like Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Karachi have all contributed to an evolution," he said.

When asked whether Pakistan would launch an operation against the Afghan Taliban, suspected to be hiding in North Waziristan, Holbrooke said it was up to the Pakistanis to decide. (ANI)

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