In a blunt message to Pakistan, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Friday demanded greater cooperation from the country to “squeeze” the Haqqani network responsible for attacks in Afghanistan, saying Islamabad could not keep snakes in its backyard.
“It’s like that old story — you can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours. Eventually, those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard,” Clinton said at a joint news conference with Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar.
“We asked very specifically for greater cooperation from Pakistan to squeeze the Haqqani network and other terrorists because we know that trying to eliminate terrorists and safe havens on one side of the border is not going to work,” she said.
Clinton had said earlier that the US intended to “push the Pakistanis very hard” to remove militant safe havens and tackle groups like the Haqqani network.
Khar did not respond to questions about the US demand for action against groups like the Haqqani network, and said Pakistan's future strategies would be guided by a resolution adopted by a recent meeting of the country’s political parties, which called for giving “peace a chance”. PTI