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'There's cross border fertilisation of terror in Pak'

By Lalit K Jha
November 20, 2009 10:13 IST
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said there is cross border fertilisation of terrorism in Pakistan from Afghanistan and the US would continue to press Islamabad to go after extremism in the country.

'We know that there is a cross-border fertilisation of extremism and terrorism. Afghanistan cannot get control over its territory and defeat the Taliban if they can go across the border into Pakistan as a safe haven,' Clinton told the Azadi Radio in an interview.

Similarly, Pakistan cannot root out the people that threaten them and their government if they can seek refuge across the border in Afghanistan, she said according to a transcript released by the State Department.

'That's why we look at Afghanistan and Pakistan together when it comes to this fight against terrorism,' she said.

Having recently visited Pakistan, Clinton said she knows that the Pakistani military is working very hard in South Waziristan, and they do have to have priorities as to how they will spend their resources and their troops.

'But we will continue to press them to go after all of the extremists in Pakistan, some of whom target Pakistan, some of whom, as you know, target Afghanistan. And we think there has to be an effort to root out the extremists in Pakistan who threaten Afghanistan,' she said.

'So that is the message that I took to Pakistan when I was there a few weeks ago. It's the message that I continue to stress with our friends in Pakistan,' Clinton said.

In another interview to BBC, Clinton said the US has a national security interest in going after the syndicate of terror that Al-Qaeda has helped to pull together, which includes elements of the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban.

'It is a direct threat to the United States, to our allies, our interests, our values. And we are determined to defeat Al-Qaeda,' she said.
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Lalit K Jha in Washington