Haqqani network 'common enemy' of US, Pak: Panetta

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Washington, Jun 30: Calling the Taliban-linked Haqqani network a "common enemy", the US has made it clear to Pakistan that both countries have to work together to deal with the dreaded terror outfit responsible for attacks on coalition forces based in Afghanistan.

Stating this, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said Pakistan too has been a victim of terrorism and cited the recent killing of 17 Pakistani soldiers by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). "They lost 17 Pakistanis on a patrol to the TTP. And so every day they too are the victims of terrorism," he noted.

"So we have a common enemy. It would make sense if we could work together to confront that common enemy," Panetta told reporters at Pentagon yesterday, responding to a question on the Haqqani network. It is in the interest of Islamabad as well to take action against the Haqqani network, he said.

"I think he (General John Allen, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan) got a receptivity from (Pakistan army chief) General (Ashfaq Pervez) Kayani that he understood the concern," he said.

On closure of the NATO supply routes by Pakistan, Panetta said the US continues to have discussions with Islamabad on reopening of the ground lines of communication (GLOCs).

"There continue to be discussions in this area. We continue to have a line of communications with the Pakistanis to try to see if we can take steps to reopen the GLOCs. And you know, the good news is that there continue to be those discussions," Panetta said.

"There still are some tough issues to try to resolve. But, you know, I think the important thing right now is that both sides, in good faith, keep working to see if we can resolve this," he said.

PTI

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