Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama unveils new US policy for Pakistan, Afghanistan

Updated at: 1845 PST, Friday, March 27, 2009

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Barack Obama Friday said Al-Qaeda is ‘actively planning' attacks on US from safe havens in Pakistan.Unfolding a new US strategy to defeat Taliban and Al-Qaeda, Obama said Pakistan must be 'stronger partner' in destroying Al-Qaeda safe havens. In this connection, he said Pakistan would be provided financial assistance of 1.5 billion dollars each year for the next five years.However, he said US would not provide a blank cheque to Pakistan “as they also needed to prove their commitment in war against terror.”President Obama said the goal is to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan.The situation in Afghanistan is increasingly perilous, President Barack Obama warned."Attacks against our troops, our NATO allies, and the Afghan government have risen steadily. Most painfully, 2008 was the deadliest year of the war for American forces.""I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan and to prevent their return to either country in the future," Obama said."That is the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that could not be more just. And to the terrorists who oppose us, my message is the same: we will defeat you. "He said US will not turn blind eye to Afghan government corruption.The US President proposed setting up a new contact group on Afghanistan including Iran to tackle the bloody Taliban and Al-Qaeda insurgency.

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