Pakistan on Thursday hit back at mounting US demands for action against al Qaeda-linked extremists, refusing to be pressured into doing more in the war on terror.
Washington says it is conducting a final review on whether to blacklist the network linked to Pakistani intelligence as a terror group, which risks then exposing Islamabad to economic sanctions.
The outgoing top US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, accused Pakistan of exporting violent extremism to Afghanistan and called the Haqqani network a “veritable arm” of its ISI.
“American statements shocked us, and negate our sacrifices and successes in the ongoing war against terror,” Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told a rare Pakistani cross-party conference designed to forge a united front.
American officials want Pakistan to launch an offensive against the Haqqanis, but the military says it is over-stretched fighting local Taliban to open a new front against a US enemy that doesn’t pose a threat to Pakistan.”Pakistan cannot be pressurised to do more,” Gilani said. “Our doors are open for dialogue (with the international community),” he added.
Islamabad officially denies any support for Haqqani attacks in Afghanistan, but has nurtured Pashtun warlords for decades as means of influencing events across the border and offsetting the might of India.