No alternative than to work with Pakistan: Nato chief


The head of Nato has called on Western governments to continue to work with Pakistan against extremists. The advice came in the wake of the USA and Pakistan trading thinly-veiled critiques of each other’s operations.
Amid growing US pressure for Pakistan to take action against militants, Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called for a “positive engagement” from Islamabad to ensure stability in Afghanistan.
Rasmussen said despite questions raised by the killing of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil, he saw no alternative to co-operating with Pakistan in the war against terrorism.
In a speech to the World Affairs Council in Atlanta, the head of the 28-nation Western military alliance expressed appreciation for the efforts so far by Pakistan’s military to fight Islamic militants in its border region with Afghanistan.
“But I think more could be done,” Mr Rasmussen said.
“We should support those forces in Pakistan that realise that the real threat against the Pakistani society comes from terrorism and extremism,” he added.
Mr Rasmussen spoke after Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani rejected allegations that the killing of Bin Laden near Islamabad showed Pakistani incompetence or complicity in hiding the al Qaeda leader.
“It is really a security problem for our troops in Afghanistan that terrorists have safe havens, and that’s a fact, in Pakistan,” he said.
“We have to deal with that and it’s in our mutual interest to deal with that,” he added.


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