'Pak must cut ties with terrorists as US mulls future aid'

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Terrorism in Pakistan
Washington, Sept 26: Pakistan needs to cut its ties with terrorists, particularly the Haqqani network, as the US administration mulls the future of aid assistance to the country, a top White House official said o Sunday.

Senior White House Advisor David Plouffe said "....those discussions are happening between our foreign policy and national security teams".

"Obviously we need to continue to have as much cooperation as we can, but we cannot abide (by) the situation where the Haqqani network is being provided safe havens," he told the CNN in an interview when asked if the US will cut off its aid to Pakistan.

"Some aid could be in jeopardy here. I think that we have to work closely with them obviously in terms of the fight against al Qaeda in that region," the official said.

Plouffe said the US will "continue to intensify and make the case that any arm of the Pakistani government that's providing aid and comfort, and providing safe haven for the Haqqani network, we can't abide (with) that.

Plouffe said the US has made it clear and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Defense Secretary, Hillary Clinton, talked to their counterparts in Pakistan as recently as this week.

He said the message has been clear that the "Haqqani Network provides great danger to the people of the Pakistan, to the United States, to other countries".

"...and those links and those safe havens, (in Pakistan) we are continuing to insist that the Pakistani government make clear and take action to make sure that these safe havens and these links are eliminated because it is providing clearly the situation where they are free to operate in a way that's quite dangerous," the White House Advisor said.

Plouffe said the US continues to engage "in a great deal of cooperation with Pakistan" as it relates to al Qaeda.

He said "20 of the top 30 al Qaeda leaders have been eliminated, including Osama bin Laden. So we've made great progress here," the top official said.

PTI

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