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Terror camps exist in Balochistan: Burns

The US Under-Secretary of State said that the Taliban had established training camps in Waziristan and Balochistan.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2007 14:46 IST

The US Under-Secretary of State Nicholas Burns has said that the Taliban had established training camps in Waziristan and Balochistan, and that Pakistan needs to do more to close these.

He further said that the Taliban forces based in these camps cross over into "Afghanistan to attack, then return to Pakistan and seek refuge and refitting".

Burns said this while briefing reporters here on Friday evening on a new US aid package for Afghanistan.

The US official also acknowledged that some of the insurgents attacking the Afghan and allied forces in Afghanistan were indigenous, "while others were coming from Pakistan".

The US, Afghan and NATOforces "need to push back" harder to defeat them, he added.

"What we saw in 2006 was a concerted attempt by a large number of Taliban forces to cross the border from Pakistan. Others are indigenous and live in the country," he said.

"We are working closely with President Musharraf, military and intelligence services to see that Pakistan will do more and make a concerted effort to strike at terrorist training camps in north and south Waziristan, and Balochistan.

That is a major priority of our relations with Pakistan. Now, we have a close relationship with President Musharraf.

We admire what he has done and how he continues to strike out these insurgent groups," the Dawn quoted him as saying.

Meanwhile, Mushahid Hussain, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on a visit to the Washington, said that some people in the US were using Pakistan as a "scapegoat" to hide their failure in Afghanistan.

He specially referred to a recent statement made by the Homeland Security Chief John Negroponte who has said Pakistan had allowed the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to establish command and control centres in the country.

"Thank God, he did not blame Pakistan for bringing Daniel Ortega back to power in Nicaragua," Hussain said and added that Pakistan had nothing to gain from helping the Taliban.

First Published: Jan 27, 2007 13:07 IST