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Western Pakistan epicentre of terrorism: Holbrooke

Asserting that Western Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism, Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke reiterated that the US cannot succeed in Afghanistan unless the sanctuaries in the western Pakistan are eliminated.

world Updated: May 13, 2009 09:23 IST

Asserting that Western Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism, a top US envoy reiterated that the US cannot succeed in Afghanistan unless the sanctuaries in the western Pakistan are eliminated.

Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, while testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said, "We are in Afghanistan and Pakistan because of 9/11, because Al-Qaeda and its allies are camped out in Western Pakistan and have pledged and promised and predicted and threatened to do it again to us and other countries".

Holbrooke felt that much more needs to be done by Pakistan, even as he appreciated the ongoing Pak military action against the Taliban and Al Qaeda extremists in the region. He also stressed the need to move more troops from the Indian border to that of its western border.

"These are the men who killed Benazir, who did Mumbai, who attacked the cricket team in Lahore, who attacked the United States. The epicenter of this area is in western Pakistan," the envoy added.

In response to a question, Holbrooke acknowledged that there are not enough Pakistani troops in the region. "Everyone who's observed the situation from the outside has come to the same conclusion, and that is that there are not enough forces in the West," he said.

As the US is sending more troops to Afghanistan this summer, Holbrooke said this offensive would drive the Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants further into Baluchistan and tribal regions of Pakistan.

"This offensive will drive pressure into Baluchistan, where the fighting now is to the north in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. We hope that the Pakistanis will move more troops into the West, improve the training of the Frontier Corps. We're ready to assist with all of this. It is imperative that it be done," the Special US Representative said.

"Pakistani military has to take back the west and that's where we are today as we hold this important hearing," Holbrooke said.

Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, had recently said that he has moved some troops from its Indian border to western Pakistan and is ready to move more in case the need arises.

In response to a question, Holbrooke acknowledged that there are not enough Pakistani troops in the region. "Everyone who's observed the situation from the outside has come to the same conclusion, and that is that there are not enough forces in the West," he said.

As the US is sending more troops to Afghanistan this summer, Holbrooke said this offensive would drive the Taliban and Al Qaeda militants further into Baluchistan and tribal regions of Pakistan.

"This offensive will drive pressure into Baluchistan, where the fighting now is to the north in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. We hope that the Pakistanis will move more troops into the West, improve the training of the Frontier Corps. We're ready to assist with all of this. It is imperative that it be done," the Special US Representative said.

"Pakistani military has to take back the west and that's where we are today as we hold this important hearing," Holbrooke said.

Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, had recently said that he has moved some troops from its Indian border to western Pakistan and is ready to move more in case the need arises.