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Pakistan needs to do more against Haqqani network: US
 
 
 

Reiterating the do more mantra US said that we are looking to work with Pakistan for action against Haqqani network. The spokesperson of the US State Department, Victoria Nuland said during a briefing that there was a need for the US and Pakistan to act together against the threat posed by Haqqani network. This is something that the US has been pushing for during the last year or so, but Pakistan is yet to respond likewise. "We continue to try to strengthen the work we do together against the Haqqani network. Our view remains that we can and should be doing more together, and we are looking forward to being able to do that," Ms. Nuland stated. She was, however, appreciative of the counterterrorism cooperation between both countries moving forward after having remained troublesome during the previous year. "With regard to our larger counterterrorism work with the Government of Pakistan, we, as you know, are encouraged that the GLOCs are now open, that we are able to work well together on moving cargo," she pointed out. The ground supply routes from Pakistan for NATO supplies remained suspended for over six months following the attack on Pakistani security posts in Salala last Novemeber. The spokesperson was also questioned about the recently updated travel warning for Pakistan. She termed it a routine practice based on the information received from the ground. "The latest update includes information about some of the attacks that we’ve seen, including the April explosion in Lahore and the suicide attack in Karachi," she explained. Ms. Nuland, in response to another question, disagreed that the travel warning had anything to do with the anniversary of 9/11 attacks approaching next months. "It doesn’t have anything to do with September 11th. It just has to do with regular updating based on information on the ground. So it’s just appropriate that we would keep that up-to-date based on events," she asserted. On the reports that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had shuffled some top defense and intelligence officials, she said the US government will wait for the formal announcement. "As far as I know, he hasn’t actually announced any appointments yet. So I think we will await that. It’s obviously his sovereign right to shuffle his government, and we will look forward to working with whomever is named," she maintained. In another briefing, White House spokesman, Jay Carney, also played down the significance of the changes in Afghanistan. "Our focus is on our relationship and partnership with President Karzai and the Afghan government and the Afghan security forces," he emphasised while declining to offer any specific comment on the change in personnel. "As we draw down forces from Afghanistan and continue with the President’s policy of transferring security lead to Afghan national security forces, we look to the policies that the government implements, policies that the military leadership carries out, and focus less on the individuals or personalities than on actions and policies," he went on to add. When asked if the White House viewed this as an attempt by Karzai to try to strengthen his government, or as a sign of weakness of the Afghan government, Jay Carney again refused to answer. "I just don’t have an assessment to make about that for you", he said in a categoric tone. "We continue to work with the Afghan government, with the Afghan security forces as we draw down our forces, bring our troops home, and transition to Afghan security lead, which, as you know, as part of the NATO plan, will be complete in 2014," he said while reiterating the position of the US administration.

 
 
 
 
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