Pakistani Army Chief Says US Should Focus on Afghanistan

Posted October 19th, 2011 at 5:35 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Pakistani lawmakers say the country's army chief told them the United States should focus on stabilizing Afghanistan instead of pressuring Pakistan to confront militant groups in its northwest tribal region.

The lawmakers told reporters about the comments army chief General Ashfaq Kayani made Tuesday during a closed-door briefing to parliamentary defense committees.

The meeting comes amid increased U.S. pressure on Pakistan to launch an offensive against militants in North Waziristan, which is believed to be the home of the Haqqani network. The militant group has launched numerous attacks in Afghanistan.

The lawmakers said Kayani told them the army could take action in North Waziristan immediately if he were convinced it would solve all problems. He also addressed alleged ties between militants and Pakistan's military spy agency, the ISI, saying the links are used to gather information just as the U.S. CIA and Britain's MI-6 intelligence agencies do.

Last month, senior U.S. official's accused the ISI of helping the Haqqani network launch attacks in Afghanistan, including an assault on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Pakistan has denied the allegations.