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Pakistan to US: Check Taliban infiltration from Afghanistan


Islamabad : Pakistan has unambiguously told the US that NATO forces in Afghanistan must check the infiltration of the Taliban into South Waziristan, where the security forces are currently engaged in a major offensive against the militants.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Monday conveyed the view during talks with visiting General David Petraeus, chief of the US Central Command.

The prime minister also noted that as in the previous operations against the Taliban in the Malakand division of the North West Frontier Province and now in South Waziristan, Pakistan was fighting on two fronts.

“While it had won the war on the military front in Malakand and was poised to strike a decisive blow to the terrorists and militants in South Waziristan, it is imperative to do more for the socio-economic development in the affected areas to address the root causes of terrorism and economic deprivation of the people in these areas,” The News Tuesday quoted Gilani as telling the US general.

The prime minister said the operations in Malakand and South Waziristan had proved Pakistan’s firm resolve to root out the menace of terrorism from its soil. He nonetheless highlighted the need for the capacity building of the law-enforcement agencies by the US and other friends of Pakistan.

Gilani drew Petraeus’ attention to the expected influx of dislocated persons from South Waziristan region, the number of which had already exceeded 100,000 and hoped that as in the case of the Malakand operation, assistance to Pakistan for providing relief and rehabilitation to the dislocated persons would continue.

He also urged the US to expedite the delayed payments of the Coalition Support Fund claims and Foreign Military Funds (FMF) to Pakistan at this critical juncture.

Besides, Gilani called for the supply of much needed equipment to Pakistan’s armed forces.

Petraeus, while commiserating over the loss of lives and injuries sustained by many in a recent spate of terrorist incidents in Pakistan, lauded this country’s resolve and determination to eliminate militants from its soil.

He commended the prime minister for his efforts to evolve political consensus on this vital issue and agreed with him that no war could be won without the complete and active support of the people.

He assured the prime minister that the balance of the Coalition Support Fund and IMF payments would be released to Pakistan as soon as possible and welcomed the streamlining of the process of lodging claims.