US gives Pakistan two weeks time to eliminate Taliban

Courtesy: The Economic Times, 1 May 2009

WASHINGTON : Stepping up pressure on Pakistan to take concrete action against the Taliban, the US has given Islamabad two weeks time to eliminate the insurgents from its soil before Washington determines what it will do next.

General David Petraeus, who heads the US Central Command, has told US officials that the coming two weeks would be “critical to determining whether the Pakistani government will survive”, Fox News reported.

“The Pakistanis have run out of excuses” and are “finally getting serious” about combating the threat from Taliban and Al Qaeda extremists operating out of the country’s northwest, the general said.

Criticising Pakistan’s attitude towards fighting the insurgents, Petraeus said “we have heard it all before” that Pakistan was doing its best to eliminate the Taliban threat.

He said that he is looking forward to see concrete action by Islamabad in the next two weeks before determining the US’ next course of action, which is presently set on propping up the Pakistani government and military with counter-insurgency training and aid.

Petraeus made these assessment in talks with lawmakers and Obama administration officials this week, the news channel reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.

The sources also told the channel that no one in Washington has an “understanding of Taliban’s true objective”.

It remains unclear to policymakers here whether the Taliban wants to overthrow the Zardari government or merely to carve out territory within Pakistan in which it can establish safe haven, impose Sharia law, and plot attacks against external targets.

Courtesy and Thanks: The Economic Times

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4473106.cms

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