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'Pakistan hampering US operations against Taliban'

Source: ANI
July 20, 2009 16:00 IST
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The top United States commander in Afghanistan has said that they are facing difficulties in their latest military campaign against the Taliban due to lack of cooperation from Pakistan.

General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force and US Forces in Afghanistan, is believed to have pursued this line in his secret visit to Islamabad over the weekend, during which he met President Asif Ali Zardari and Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

The US general, accompanied by American Ambassador to Afghanistan Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, discussed with his interlocutors operational matters about the stepped up military campaign in Afghanistan. He flew back on Sunday morning.

"Operational issues relating to the military campaign in Afghanistan and matters on our side of the border came under discussion," the Dawn quoted sources as saying.

The meetings, described as part of ongoing military-to-military operational engagement, were hurriedly arranged.

The visit came at a time when the US military, after meeting little initial resistance in their offensive in Helmand province of Afghanistan, is confronting a resurgent Taliban not afraid to take on their mighty adversary.

The US commander is currently taking stock of troop requirements in Afghanistan. After completion of the assessment, he is to make recommendations to Pentagon.

With the death of 48 soldiers, July has already been the deadliest month for the international forces in Afghanistan since the offensive began in 2001.

US strategists presume that the Taliban network based in Quetta directs much of the Taliban activity in the bordering Afghanistan provinces of Kandhar and Helmand.

In an interview with New York Times, published a couple of days before his Islamabad visit, General McChrystal hinted at 'inaction' by the Pakistani army and the government against the Quetta-based Taliban.

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Source: ANI