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US asks Pak to tackle terrorism

Britain calls on Pakistan and Afghanistan to work together to face the challenge posed by the Taliban.
PTI | By Rezaul H Laskar, Islamabad
UPDATED ON MAY 26, 2008 09:08 PM IST

Britain on Monday called on Pakistan and Afghanistan to work together to face the challenge posed by the Taliban, saying a "committed regional approach" alone could help build on progress made so far in tackling militancy.

British Defence Secretary Des Browne, who arrived in Islamabad this morning to meet top Pakistani officials, said a "long-term solution to Afghanistan's problems and the threats posed to global security by violent extremism cannot be dealt with within Afghanistan's borders alone".

Though he did not refer to concerns among Western nations about Pakistan's ongoing peace talks with the local Taliban, Browne said the challenges of extremism and terrorism "require a genuine and committed regional approach".

"Tackling the challenges to global security presented by violent extremism will require determined efforts on both sides of the Afghanistan and Pakistan border," he said.

A NATO spokesman yesterday urged Pakistan to avoid agreements with the Taliban that put its troops and mission in Afghanistan "under threat". He also said peace talks in Pakistan were linked to an increase in attacks in Afghanistan.

"We respect the sovereignty of Pakistan absolutely but it's important they take into account the need to ensure that any agreements they make do not lead to an increase in violence in Afghanistan," the spokesman said.

Browne flew into Pakistan after a three-day visit to Afghanistan, where he met officials of NATO and international forces as well as members of the Afghan government, including President Hamid Karzai.

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