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Pak seeks holistic approach to rein in advancing Taliban

Acknowledging that Taliban posed a grave threat to the country, Pakistan underlined the need for a 'holistic approach' to rein in the militants, a day after US bluntly warned Islamabad against abdicating to the extremists.

world Updated: Apr 24, 2009 00:14 IST

Acknowledging that Taliban posed a grave threat to the country, Pakistan on Thursday underlined the need for a "holistic approach" to rein in the militants, a day after US bluntly warned Islamabad against abdicating to the extremists.

"It is precisely for this reason that the democratic government of Pakistan firmly believes in a holistic approach to deal with these challenges," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said at a weekly news briefing.

He was replying to to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's remarks before the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday that she believed the Pakistan government was abdicating to the Taliban and other militant groups.

She was referring to a peace deal concluded by the government that gives the Taliban almost total control of the northwestern Swat valley and also urged Pakistanis around the world to "speak out forcefully against a policy that is ceding more and more territory to the insurgents".

Replying to a question on Clinton's remarks, Basit said there is need for a "well integrated approach to tackle the issue of extremism and terrorism and to root out its causes, including political, security and socio-economic aspects".

"The international community has full faith in Pakistan's abilities and strength to sail through the difficult time," he asserted.