Pak's bid to nab Osama superficial: Pallone
The lawmaker accuses Islamabad of engaging in the war on terror for securing US assistance and worldly praise.india Updated: Sep 14, 2006 12:48 IST
A US Democrat lawmaker has come down heavily on Pakistan saying that Islamabad could not be "wholly trusted" as a legitimate supporter of US goals and interests in South Asia, until it proactively dismantles the terror infrastructure.
Frank Pallone, the Founder of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, also told House of Representatives that Pakistan's efforts to nab Bin Laden were "superficial", and accused Islamabad of engaging in the war on terror for securing US assistance and worldly praise.
"The fact remains that Pakistan cannot be wholly trusted as a legitimate supporter of US goals and interests in South Asia, until it proactively disarms all militias and dismantles the Jihad infrastructure," he said.
"They must also either actively seek out Bin Laden and his associates or allow US forces to do so. They need to distinguish between simply assisting the US war on terrorism and truly defending the world's freedom against terrorism," the Congressman from New Jersey said.
"Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has been praised as an important ally in the war against terrorism, giving the impression that he and his government share the US perception about terrorism being a shared threat," he said.
However, Pallone said Musharraf was "only willing to fight terrorists affiliated with Al-Qaeda to the extent of securing US assistance and worldly praise".
Musharraf is still unwilling to clamp down on jihadi groups within Pakistan's borders that may or may not be connected with Al-Qaeda, but are still a part of the bigger problem, Pallone said.
Contending that there was "great substance" to the argument that Laden was hiding in Pakistan, he said there were thousands of US and international troops inside neighbouring Afghanistan, "but none are able to go into Pakistan".
"That is because the government does not allow foreign troops on its territory. So Bin Laden is safe from US forces because they cannot actively pursue him," Pallone said.
"Yet, Pakistan won't make a concerted effort to find him either," Pallone said, emphasising that Pakistan has made things worse by signing a "truce" with "militants" on the bordering regions of Afghanistan.
"...The US must proceed with caution with Pakistan. Even though it has helped capture some of Al-Qaeda's leadership, these efforts are nothing more than superficial attempts at camaraderie," he said.