US won't allow Pak army to be 'slack' against terror
Pakistan military's engagement in flood relief efforts can't be excuse for it to lower its guard against militants, says America's special envoy for the Af-Pak region Richard Holbrooke.world Updated: Sep 18, 2010 15:46 IST
The US will not accept any "slackness" on the part of the Pakistan army in the fight against the Taliban due to the military's engagement in flood relief efforts, America's special envoy for the Af-Pak region Richard Holbrooke has said.
"Neither the security situation has changed fundamentally, nor has the Taliban threat receded. With the Americans placed in a difficult situation in Afghanistan, we certainly will not like to see slackness on the part of the Pakistan army in the war on terror," Holbrooke told journalists on Friday.
Responding to a question about the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner's claim that Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar is in Pakistan, Holbrooke said: "yes, the (US) Secretary of State ( Hillary Clinton) has also said the same thing, but I don't know where Mullah Omar is."
The US has always contended that Taliban elements who renounce al-Qaeda would be welcomed back into Afghan politics, the visiting US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan said.
Holbrooke said he did not "believe that the Americans are losing any battles or war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Rather, a recent surge of US forces would improve the situation in eastern Afghanistan soon," he said.
He praised the resilience of the Pakistani people during the unprecedented floods and commended the role of the Pakistan army in rescue and relief operations. The civilian government was doing a "tremendous job" of taking along all political forces at this difficult juncture, he said.
"The US reposes its full confidence in (the government's) abilities and intentions. Therefore, I do not see bad governance as an issue here. It's just the enormity of the disaster that I believe no government in the world could have handled this kind of disaster," he said.