US reaching 'limits of patience' with Pakistan

2012-06-07 13:02

Kabul - Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday that the United States was running out of patience with Pakistan for tolerating safe havens that allow insurgents to attack US troops across the border in Afghanistan.

Panetta made the strong remarks after talks with Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak on the latest leg of an Asian tour that has taken him to Pakistan's arch-rival India, but not Islamabad in a sign of dire US-Pakistan relations.

He singled out the Haqqani network, a Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked faction that has bases in Pakistan's lawless tribal district of North Waziristan and which has been blamed for some of the deadliest attacks of the 10-year war in Afghanistan.

"It's an increasing concern that Haqqani safe havens still exist on the other side of the border. Pakistan has to take action from allowing terrorists in their country to attack our forces on the other side of the border," he said.

"We are reaching the limits of our patience here," he added.

Stormy relationship

US officials most recently blamed the Haqqani network for a brazen 18-hour assault on Kabul in April - the biggest to hit the Afghan capital in a decade - which further rocked the stormy relationship between Washington and Islamabad.

Ties between the two allies in the war on terror have been in free fall since Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden in a covert raid on his Pakistani compound in May 2011 that was conducted without Islamabad's prior knowledge.

In a damning indictment of the distrust between both countries, Panetta, then CIA director, said at the time that Washington ruled out telling Islamabad about the planned raid as they feared Pakistani spies might tip off the al-Qaeda chief.

The United States is most recently at loggerheads with Pakistan over Islamabad's six-month blockade on Nato supplies crossing overland into Afghanistan, imposed after US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last November.

Pakistan has been incensed by America's refusal to apologise formally for the air strikes and US officials have refused to pay the thousands of dollars Pakistan has reportedly demanded per container as a condition to reopening the border.

Exacerbated tensions

The sentencing to 33 years in jail on May 23 of the Pakistani doctor recruited by the CIA to help identify bin Laden by running a fake vaccination campaign has further exacerbated tensions with Washington.

Panetta said that in talks with Pakistan, the United States had made "very clear, time and time again" the need to crackdown on Haqqani militants.

Pakistan has resisted US pressure to launch a major offensive against the network in North Waziristan, arguing that it is too overstretched in the fight against local Taliban to take on an enemy that poses no threat to Pakistan.

Independent analysts have suggested that Pakistan is not capable of defeating the Haqqanis, a well organised and disciplined force that can command thousands of fighters.

In India, Panetta described the alliance with New Delhi as a "lynchpin" in US military strategy in Asia and urged India to play a more active role in Afghanistan, fuelling long-held Pakistani concerns about being encircled by its arch rival.

  • ashley.james.3701779 - 2012-06-07 13:22

    Pakistan, Afghanistan, same thing.............

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-06-07 14:40

      Exactly. It's time the US and India launched a huge military strike into those areas od Pakistan and wipe the scum from the earth.

      Fidel - 2012-06-07 15:36

      Killing a lot of people must make a lot of your fantasies?

      wallace.outkast - 2012-07-29 17:40

      @surf city, in syria those same scums are freedom make up your mind ...u twat..

  • Martin - 2012-06-07 13:38

    just massacre them and be done with it, we know its what you want, time to get shares in arms and ammo again

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-07 15:36

      Do you care about the innocent civilians these terrorists kill, or the women they stone to death?

  • Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-06-07 13:39

    Pakistan is a sovereign nation. The us is breaking international law. Simple.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-07 15:37

      It's not as simple as that. These tribal militia have declared and are waging war on the US. In terms of international law, the US is allowed to defend itself.

      Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-06-07 16:41

      It is that simple. Pakistan has repeatedly condemned us drone strikes which are killing countless civilians.

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-06-07 13:40

    What the hell is the US doing there in the first place? Why don't they sort out the BS in their own states? I really wish they would stop using their militant muscle in other countries and leave everyone else alone. Your one world order crap will not work as you will have rebels all over the world, for ever and frankly your US world leaders have to be brought to justice in front of the world justice system. People of the US, I really feel sorry for you and you’re messed up white house administration! The human race was developed to operate independently from each other, not a besotted zombie nations that needs to prescribe to the US laws and rules! Sick bastards!

      Martin - 2012-06-07 14:14

      didnt you get the memo, america owns the world, it has nukes pointed everywhere, therefore they are a terrorist continent, run the world through fear, china is catching up, russia has nukes aimed everywhere too, the whole northen hemisphere is mental

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-07 15:39

      They're there because Al-Quaida and the Taliban have declared and are waging war on the US. Heard of 9/11 in which civilians from 90 countries were murdered by these organizations? The "one world crap" is your one world crap.

  • Fidel - 2012-06-07 16:14

    I am certain that millions of Pakistanese have lost patience with their government's inability to protect them from American slaughter. There was no significant terrorism in Pakistan until the US invaded her neighbour and started killing Pakistani women and their children. America only brings death and destruction!

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