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Take speedy action against al-Qaeda, Taliban: Mullen to Pak

world Updated: Jan 13, 2011 17:25 IST
PTI
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The US wants Pakistan to take speedy action against al-Qaeda and Taliban elements holed up in North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border, American military chief Admiral Mike has said.

Noting that Pakistani security forces had conducted nine major operations in the past two years in areas like Swat and South Waziristan Agency, US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mullen said the militants in North Waziristan continue to pose the "biggest threat".

Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is aware of the threat posed by militants in North Waziristan, Mullen said. Kayani has pledged to launch an operation against them at a time chosen by Pakistan though the US wants action to be taken speedily, he said.

"Would we like to see it happen more quickly? Absolutely," Mullen said in an interview with Geo News channel. The US has stepped up pressure on Pakistan to move troops into North Waziristan to crackdown on groups like the Haqqani network that target allied forces across the border in Afghanistan.

Analysts believe the Pakistan Army is reluctant to act because it has close links to the Haqqani network and wants to use such groups to influence developments in Afghanistan after US troops pull out.

Mullen made it clear that the US wants to end al-Qaeda and allied extremist groups, and it is necessary to destroy the Al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan and militant hideouts to achieve this objective.

"I believe it has to be all done in a way that it's sustained over time," he said.

Pakistan's reservations will be considered in resolving the Afghan imbroglio, Mullen said.

The US is also committed to long-term relations with both Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said.

Gen Kayani and the US leadership both believe that a stable Afghanistan could resolve many problems, he said.

Referring to Pakistan-India relations, Mullen said better relations between the two South Asian countries would ensure security in the region.