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FM Khar urges unity in terror fight

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar speaks during a press conference after attending the Asia Ministerial Conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, June 14, 2012. - Photo by AP

KABUL: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday accused governments of doing a “terrible job” at working together to tackle militancy in Afghanistan as she called for a more unified approach.

Khar made the remarks on the sidelines of a ministerial conference in Kabul aimed at building greater regional cooperation on Afghanistan and its future beyond the pullout of Nato forces in 2014.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says peace depends on regional cooperation to smash sanctuaries for militant networks waging violence in his country, and in his opening remarks to the conference urged Pakistan to support the peace process.

Pakistan was the Taliban's chief diplomatic backer when the regime was in power in Afghanistan, and is accused by both Kabul and Washington of continuing to play a double game in supporting the insurgency despite its official US alliance.

Khar reiterated Pakistan's stance that it has suffered enormously as a result of terrorism, and said a more united front was needed among international allies.

“We have been making the claim that we need to all work together to ensure that we win against them rather than they win against us,” she told reporters.

“At this point in time, if there is a policy of divide and rule they are doing a great job at it and we are doing a terrible job at combining our energy, our forces, and our resources to be able to face them as one.”

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta warned Pakistan last week that the US was running out of patience over Islamabad's refusal to do more to eliminate hiding places for insurgents, who attack US troops fighting the 10-year war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Khar responded on Thursday by saying she was “glad we are not losing patience with anyone, despite losing 24 soldiers”.

She was referring to Nato air strikes on a Pakistani border post in November which killed 24 troops and led to Islamabad closing the ground routes through its territory used to supply coalition forces in Afghanistan.

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