Safe haven for insurgents
Leon Panetta, the US Defense Secretary said in a statement issued from Kabul on Thursday that the United States was reaching the limits of its patience with Pakistan because of the refuge provided to militants in Afghanistan.
The United States has always expected Pakistan to do more in the war against terror, but the relationship has been strained by a numerous factors such as the unilateral U.S raid into Pakistan last year to kill Osama bin Laden.
“It is difficult to achieve peace in Afghanistan as long as there is safe haven for terrorists in Pakistan,” Panetta, who arrived in Kabul a day after a deadly insurgent bombing, told reporters.
“It is very important for Pakistan to take steps. It is an increasing concern, the issue of safe haven, and we are reaching the limits of our patience.”
Pakistan’s crucial cooperation
Most foreign combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan at the end of 2014 and Pakistan’s cooperation is considered critical to U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan before then. Pakistan has close ties with the Taliban and other insurgent groups.
The Pakistani parliament has asked the U.S. to stop its drone strikes in the country in a bid to improve the strained ties, which worsened by the 33 year jail sentence for treason given to the Pakistani doctor who allegedly assisted the CIA in locating Osama bin Laden.