KABUL, Oct 23: Pakistan must attack militants in its northern areas and tackle extremists threatening its stability and complicating international efforts in Afghanistan, a senior US diplomat said on Thursday.

The United States was committed to helping Pakistan fight militants, deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Patrick Moon told reporters in Kabul.

“Pakistan needs to and is attacking insurgents in its northern areas,” Moon told reporters during a visit to Afghanistan to assess efforts to fight a growing Taliban-led campaign.

“Sanctuaries for Afghanistan Taliban in Pakistan complicate our security operations in Afghanistan. Pakistani Taliban elements and other extremists such as Al Qaeda are posing a threat to the stability of Pakistan,” he said.

Moon said the United States was committed to helping Islamabad by improving its army and providing development aid to stimulate economic activity and create jobs as an alternative to insurgent activity.

He said relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan appeared to have improved with the September election of President Asif Ali Zardari, but “much more needs to be done”.

The Pentagon said on Wednesday that fewer foreign fighters were slipping into Afghanistan since Pakistan launched its offensive in August against Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in border tribal regions.

But the Pakistani parliament passed a special resolution on Thursday calling for an urgent review of the country’s anti-terror policy, including more talks with militants and a vow to defend its territorial sovereignty.—AFP

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