ISLAMABAD: US General David Petraeus on Monday praised Pakistan’s fight against Taliban militants during a key first round of talks since taking command of US-led Nato troops in Afghanistan.
General Petraeus met Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at General Headquarters. The officials talked about regional stability, the anti-terrorism campaign and the presence of militants in tribal areas, especially in North Waziristan, officials said.
US and Nato officials say Pakistan is vital to reversing Taliban momentum in Afghanistan. US officials have recently put pressure on Islamabad to crack down on groups who stage cross-border attacks against American troops.
“Recent events demonstrate both the common threat posed to Pakistan and Afghanistan by insurgents and the efforts that the Pakistan military are making to counter this threat,” Petraeus said on Monday.
“I look forward to continuing to work with General Kayani to identify areas of mutual interest and to cooperate in efforts that can help improve regional security,” he added.
It was Petraeus’ first visit to Pakistan as head of Nato’s International Security Assistance Force. Pakistani commanders have not ruled out an offensive in North Waziristan, but argue that gains in South Waziristan and the northwestern district of Swat need to be consolidated to prevent troops from being stretched too thinly. Meanwhile, US ambassador to Pakistan Anne W Patterson also called on General Kayani.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2010.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ