Haqqani network behind Afghanistan attacks: US

US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner

Giving press briefing US State Department deputy spokesman, Mark Toner said that despite the Defense Secretary Leon Panetta s comments, the US was still willing to work with Pakistan to squeeze the Haqqani network.

“Secretary Panetta, Secretary Clinton, others have stated before about our desire to work with Pakistan to squeeze the Haqqani Network, and that we need to make a joint effort to confront them and confront extremism writ large in Pakistan,” he said.“I think we’re frustrated. We’ve said that before. We want to see action against the Haqqanis.”However, he reiterated Panetta’s message that both sides need to work on and improve the complex relationship despite the challenges it continues to throw up. “But let’s be very clear where we’ve been on the Haqqani Network. We want to see steps taken to squeeze them.”

Earlier, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta during his Afghanistan visit on Thursday said “we are reaching the limits of our patience” with a nominal ally that continues to provide a safe haven to Al Qaida-linked militants.Panetta, in the Afghan capital, told reporters he was visiting Kabul to take stock of progress in the war and discuss plans for the troop drawdown. But he used a press conference to strike across the border instead, saying the Pakistani government needs to do more and soon to root out the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani terrorist network.

Panetta repeatedly emphasized U.S. frustration with attackers crossing the border from Pakistan. It is essential that Pakistan stop “allowing terrorists to use their country as a safety net in order to conduct their attacks on our forces,” he said alongside Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak.”We have made that very clear time and time again and we will continue to do that, but as I said, we are reaching the limits of our patience,” Panetta said. – Dunyanews