Pakistan has made progress against extremists’ safe havens: US review | Pakistan Today

Pakistan has made progress against extremists’ safe havens: US review

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has made progress against extremist safe havens, taking action in six of seven agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, a new US Afghan war review said on Thursday.
It said, “We worked jointly in the last year to disrupt the threat posed by Al Qaeda, and Pakistan has made progress against extremist safe havens.” “These gains came at great cost, as Pakistan has endured thousands of casualties in their military ranks and among their civilian population from terrorist attacks.”
The report said the US relationship with Pakistan over the past year has been “substantial” but “uneven” in the fight to disrupt Al Qaeda and deprive it of safe havens.
The review of developments since US President Barack Obama’s announcement of an Afghan troop surge strategy last year also said Pakistan’s gains against the group had come at great cost, and included thousands of casualties. “Progress in our relationship with Pakistan over the last year has been substantial, but also uneven,” an overview of the report said.”There was also improvement in our security assistance, with increased training cooperation, more support for Pakistan’s military operations, and greater border coordination,” the document read. The report noted a planned exchange of visits next year between Obama and President Asif Ali Zardari as a sign of the continued US commitment to strengthening bilateral relations.
The document also made reference to plans by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to host the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers early next year for the latest session of an ongoing US-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral dialogue on regional stability.
Obama briefs Zardari on Afghan policy review: US Obama telephoned President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday night and apprised him of the salient features of the US policy review on the war in Afghanistan.
A source told Pakistan Today that the US president assured Zardari of his country’s continued support to help Pakistan fight terrorism, even though the results that the US desired were not achieved.
The source quoted President Obama as saying that the US would also lend its support to the Pakistani people and its government, as both the states were “long-term partners”.
The source said President Zardari also reiterated his government’s commitment to root out terrorism at all costs. “We want to secure our country, our people and our future generations from terrorists and all measures would be taken to exterminate terror networks,” the source quoted President Zardari as telling Obama.
Both leaders also discussed the current situation in the region. President Obama thanked Zardari for his condolences and warm tributes over the death of Richard Holbrooke, the former US special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan.
President Zardari thanked the US president for apprising him of the important elements of the US policy review. The two presidents also agreed to have a face-to-face meeting soon.

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