Describing the growing insurgency within its own border as an "existential problem" for Pakistan, the head of Britain's armed forces has said that Pakistani army has achieved only "limited" success in the war against terror in the region as it is beset with "a series of very considerable problems".
Acknowledging that US drone strikes in Pakistan's restive tribal areas bordering Afghanistan is not helping achieve its goal, Stirrup has asked Islamabad to rein in militants on its side of the border.
"The Taliban movement and Taliban... Is on both sides of the border. It makes no distinction between one side or the other. Some people move across. Some are based almost exclusively in Pakistan... Some are based exclusively in Afghanistan. It's impossible to distinguish between those two..," Stirrup told The Sunday Times newspaper.
"I think the Pakistan army has a series of very considerable problems," he said, adding that "the growing insurgency within its own borders is an existential problem for Pakistan".
Commenting upon the widely held public perception in Pakistan that presence of NATO troops in bordering Afghan has aggravated militancy in the region, Stirrup advised Pak authorities not to be driven by popular sentiment.
"It's very important that the Pakistan government starts to shift that opinion," Stirrup said adding that "because, while they shouldn't be driven just by public opinion, they can't operate in the face of it. The Predator strikes don't help in that regard".