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Pak's ungoverned spaces a problem: Rice

December 23, 2008 21:05 IST

Pakistan's ungoverned spaces are a problem in the war on terror and militants operating there are able to do hit-and-run raids across the border in Afghanistan, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images] has said.

"If you look at South Asia, there is a problem -- a kind of coming together of the ungoverned spaces of Pakistan with the difficult-to-defend Afghan border," Rice said in an interview with a news agency, transcript of which was put out by the US state department.

"But I do not think that it would be right to say that they are unchallenged there or they're somehow on the march," she said.

"They're (militants) able to do hit-and-run attacks across that border. And the capacity of the Afghan government has to be strengthened, and the Pakistanis need to continue to press in those ungoverned spaces," she added.

Rice disagreed with the notion that somehow there is a lot of antipathy to President George W Bush [Images] around the world and in many ways there is a sigh of relief and hope that he is leaving the stage.

"It depends on where you're talking about. The two most populous countries in the world, China and India, the continent of Africa, President Bush is not only regarded as someone who had policies that took those relationships to a different level, but in the parlance of the day, he's popular," Rice told AFP according to the transcript.

"But I don't think popularity is the issue. I think the issue is how America has been able to change the terms of the foreign policy debate in many important places," she added.




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