Describing Pakistan as "the most threatening place," an influential US lawmaker has said that the Taliban and al-Qaeda-infested Af-Pak region poses greater danger to the world than Yemen, another hotbed of terrorists.
"The greater threat is still, I think, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The destabilisation of that whole region, the fact that Pakistan is a nuclear state. That (Pakistan) still is, I think, the most threatening place," Adam Schiff, a member of a Congressional committee on intelligence, told MSNBC.
A Democratic Congressman from California, Schiff has just returned from a trip to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.
"...in places like Yemen and, I would add Somalia to the list, we have a real and growing al-Qaeda presence, a very fragile situation. We have, in one case, Somalia pretty much a stateless, ungovernable country. And in Yemen, we're not too far away from that," Schiff said.
At the same time, he was appreciative of recent developments in Pakistan in terms of arrest of top Taliban militants.
"Well, that, I think, is the good news in terms of the changes we've seen over the last year. And that is, Pakistan is engaged in this massive military operation in South Waziristan and in Swat valley."
"I think, when the Pakistani Taliban and the home-grown militants were within 60 miles of Islamabad and were threatening to cut off the heads of the government, literally and figuratively, it had the effect of capturing their attention and recognising that that threat is very real, very proximate...," Schiff said.