U.S. official: Pakistan, Afghanistan must cooperate to defeat Taliban | VailDaily.com

U.S. official: Pakistan, Afghanistan must cooperate to defeat Taliban

Associated Pres

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan and Afghanistan must cooperate to defeat the “common enemy” of the Taliban and Islamic extremists that control the shared border, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday.The comments from Richard Boucher, U.S. assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, follow weeks of tensions between the two countries – both key allies in Washington’s war on terrorism – over militant infiltration along the rugged frontier.Boucher, who visited Afghanistan earlier in the week, met Wednesday with Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf.”We realize both Pakistan and Afghanistan face threats and both want to deal with those threats,” Boucher told a news conference. “There’s a common enemy in the form of the Taliban and extremists. There’s a common problem in terms of extending the control of government into border areas.”He added: “The only way to stop this is to have cooperation.”The often touchy relations between the Asian neighbors deteriorated in February after Afghan President Hamid Karzai gave Pakistan a list of Taliban figures hiding inside Pakistan and the locations of alleged terrorist training camps.After Afghan officials publicized that they had shared the intelligence, Musharraf retorted that the information was outdated and maintained that Pakistan – a former supporter of the Taliban militia – was doing all it could to stop militants from launching cross-border attacks.Boucher said the United States was satisfied that Pakistan was making a “maximum effort” to fight terrorists, the Taliban and al-Qaida, whom he said were trying to kill Pakistanis, Afghans and Americans.Boucher’s visit coincided with the latest flare of fighting between Pakistani security forces and pro-Taliban militants in the border region of North Waziristan, about 190 miles southwest of the capital, Islamabad. The army reported that 16 suspected militants and four soldiers were killed.Vail, Colorado

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