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Pak must do more to curb terrorism: US official

Written by: Staff

Washington, May 13: Though Pakistan has came down hard on the terror groups harbouring along the Pak-Afghan border, US State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism Henry Crumpton still believes that Pakistan must do more along its border regions to curb terrorism.

The State Department Coordinator told a US congressional subcommittee here yesterday that Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States must work together along the Afghan-Pakistan border to deny terrorists a safe breeding ground.

''It has to be a collaborative effort,'' he told members of the House Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation during testimony about the State Department's annual terrorism report.

Mr Crumpton, who has just returned from visiting both countries, said Pakistan is a key ally in the counter-terrorism efforts against al-Qaeda. Pakistan have deployed 80,000 troops on its border, but it needs to do more to rebuild the tribal structures and authorities there.

Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the subcommittee, commended Mr Crumpton for speaking bluntly to the Pakistanis during his trip to South Asia. But he questioned the upbeat assessment of Pakistan's counter-terrorism effort in the congressionally mandated Country Reports on Terrorism 2005.

Mr Crumpton pointed out that the Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's recently announced a three-point military, economic and political strategy for improving the situation along the border.

He also said Pakistan has suffered the loss of hundreds of soldiers while waging war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

A key US effort will be to bring Pakistan and Afghanistan closer to each other to cooperate in counter-terrorism initiatives, the US counterterrorism coordinator added.

Mr Crumpton also said the global war against terrorism is about creating a civilised global society. He also said this war must be based more on trust and interdependency rather than on ''bullets and bombs''.

The Saudi government and some of the Gulf States are working to ensure that aid funds are not used to fund terrorist organisations, Mr Crumpton told the lawmakers.


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