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Taliban under tremendous pressure: Clinton

July 27, 2009 08:23 IST
Taliban has come under tremendous pressure following Pakistan's military action against the militant group in Swat valley and adjoining areas, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday.

"We have seen the Pakistani government and military really step up, which had not happened to the extent it has now. So the Taliban, which is, as I believe strongly, part of a kind of terrorist syndicate with the Al-Qaeda at the centre, is now under tremendous pressure," Clinton told the NBC news channel in an interview.

The Secretary of State said strategic review concludes that Al-Qaeda is supported by and uses its extremist allies like elements within the Taliban and other violent extremist groups in the region as well as worldwide, to extend its reach; to be proxies for a lot of its attacks on Jakarta, Indonesia and elsewhere.

"So that in order to really go after the Al-Qaeda, to uproot it and destroy it, we had to take on those who were giving the al-Qaeda leadership safe haven," Clinton said, adding "the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is permeable. There are movements back and forth across it."

"This is a new strategy. It's just beginning. I think the president believes that it was not only the right strategy but facing what he faced to withdraw our presence or to keep it on the low-level, limited effectiveness that had been demonstrated, would have sent a message to Al-Qaeda and their allies that the US was willing to leave the field to them," she said.

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