After some tough talking, US President Barack Obama today asked Pakistan to deny al-Qaeda and Taliban the “space” enjoyed by them and promised to give military and civilian aid to the country “to get the job done”.
In order to achieve the common goal to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” al-Qaeda and its extremist allies in Pakistan, “we must deny them the space to threaten Pakistani, Afghan or American people,” Obama said after his meeting with his Pakistani and Afghan counterparts Asif Ali Zardari and Hamid Karzai respectively at the White House.
“I have long said that we cannot meet these challenges in isolation, nor delay the action, nor deny the resources necessary to get the job done. And that’s why we have a comprehensive (Af-Pak) strategy for the region with civilian and military components... And for the first time, this strategy will be matched by the resources that it demands.”
Obama, who secured a fresh pledge from leaders of the two countries to root out the al-Qaeda and Taliban, said the US has a stake in the future of Pakistan and Afghanistan, which have often sparred over the war on terrorism.
The US President’s comments came more than a week after he expressed his “grave concern” over the situation in Pakistan describing the civilian government there as “very fragile” and lacking the capacity to deliver basic services.