Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cooperation with Pak necessary to get success in Afghanistan: Clinton

Updated on : Thursday, July 16, 2009

WASHINGTON: Having launched a military operation against the Taliban militants in the Swat valley, Pakistan has come under intense pressure, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said, and announced she would be visiting the country "this fall".

"Pakistan is itself under intense pressure from extremist groups," Ms. Clinton said in a major foreign policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington-based think tank.

Referring to the recent tri-lateral meetings initiated by her, Ms. Clinton said trilateral cooperation among Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the US has built confidence and yielded progress on a number of policy fronts.

"Our national security as well as the future of Afghanistan depends on a stable, democratic, and economically viable Pakistan. We applaud the new Pakistani determination to deal with the militants to threaten their democracy and our shared security," Ms. Clinton said on Wednesday.

In Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ms. Clinton said, the goal of the United States is to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately defeat Al Qaeda and its extremist allies and to prevent their return to either country.

"Yet Americans often ask why do we ask our young men and women to risk their lives in Afghanistan when Al Qaeda's leadership is in neighbouring Pakistan? That question deserves a good answer," she said.

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