US losing patience with Pakistan: Panetta


KABUL: United States Defence Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday warned Pakistan in a steely tone that Washington was losing patience with the country over its failure to eliminate safe havens for insurgents who attacked US troops in neighbouring Afghanistan.


Panetta lashed out at Pakistan and the al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network during a brief visit to Kabul overshadowed by fury over a Nato air strike that reportedly killed 18 civilians, an issue that the Pentagon chief did not address in public.


The Haqqani group, a faction linked to the Taliban and al-Qaeda that is believed to be based in Pakistan’s lawless tribal district of North Waziristan, is blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan’s 10-year war: “It’s an increasing concern that this safe haven exists and that there are those like the Haqqanis who are making use of that to attack our forces,” Panetta told a news conference with his Afghan counterpart Abdul Rahim Wardak. “We are reaching the limits of our patience here. For that reason, it’s extremely important that Pakistan take action to prevent this kind of safe haven,” he said.


“We have made that very clear time and time again, and we will continue to do that. But as I said, we are reaching the limits of our patience,” he added.


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