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U.S. Intelligence Chief Says Pakistan Must Address 'Sanctuary' For Taliban

January 18, 2007 -- The head of U.S. intelligence operations says Pakistan must do more to address the "sanctuary" that Taliban fighters enjoy in Pakistan before security can improve in Afghanistan.

National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, who is expected to leave his post to take up a deputy secretary's post at the State Department, told a U.S. congressional panel today the United States is working with Pakistan
on this security problem.

Afghan and U.S. officials say Taliban fighters have been resurgent in Afghanistan's south and the east, along the Pakistan border. The fighters, they say, are hiding in Pakistan's border regions.

Pakistan, a key ally of the United States in its campaign against terrorism, says it does all it can to curb militancy.

Negroponte said Pakistan over the past several years have put a lot of Al-Qaeda and foreign fighters out of commission. He expressed confidence about Pakistan's commitment to the war on terror.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently praised Pakistan's assistance in countering terrorism but said a surge in cross-border insurgent activity from Pakistan was a "problem" that would have to be pursued with the Pakistani government.


Copyright (c) 2007. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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