Expressing concern at the speed with which Al-Qaeda is setting up a safe haven in Pakistan, a top Pentagon official feared the efforts of the Musharraf government may not be enough to address the threat posed by the resurgent militant group.
At his nomination hearing to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen told the US Senate Armed Services Committee that he is extremely concerned with Al-Qaeda's activity in the tribal areas along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.
"I'm extremely concerned about the safe haven which is being built in the FATA region, and that I am moved in a positive direction that, in fact, President Musharraf has directed the army to move in that direction. I know, having been there recently, that is a huge challenge for him," Mullen told lawmakers.
"I honestly don't know. How fast they ( Pakistan) could move. I am concerned with the speech with which it is building up -- the safe haven is building up," the top military official said.
Admiral Mullen said Al-Qaeda in Iraq remains the focal point of attention, but added that the safe haven in Pakistan is of no less concern.