US praises Pakistan’s anti-terror fight

Published November 16, 2003

WASHINGTON, Nov 15: The US administration has rejected Afghanistan’s accusation that Pakistan was allowing the Taliban to regroup inside its territory and said that Islamabad was doing all it could to fight terrorism effectively.

The strong defence for Pakistan’s role in the war against terror, expressed at a briefing at the State Department on Friday afternoon, contrasts sharply with an increased media campaign to malign Islamabad.

“Pakistan is committed to the fight against terror, and is doing everything that it can to effectively fight terror,” said a State Department spokesman.

J. Adam Ereli, the department’s deputy spokesman, said that Pakistan’s “intent and effort is commendable.”

He was asked to comment on the claims by visiting Afghan foreign minister Dr Abdullah Abdullah, that Pakistan has failed “to crack down on militants’ and was allowing the Taliban to regroup.

Mr Ereli also referred to the comments Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage made during his last visit to Pakistan on this subject.

Mr Armitage, he said, had praised Pakistan’s efforts in the fight against terrorism, “which he pointed to as an example of stepped-up determination and energy by the government of Pakistan to address this issue.”

“Obviously, everything is not perfect, but the intent and effort is commendable,” he said.

The deputy spokesman said the US stance on Pakistan’s efforts to fight terrorism has not changed since Mr Armitage’s visit. “We think that Pakistan is committed to the fight against terror, and is doing everything that they can to effectively fight terror.”

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