NPR : News

Filed Under:

U.S. Is Running Out Of Patience With Pakistan, Panetta Says

American officials are "reaching the limits of our patience" with Pakistan because that nation continues to allow terrorists to use its territory "as a safety net in order to conduct ... attacks on our forces," U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Associated Press also writes that:

"Panetta's explicit and repeated criticism of Pakistan's inaction, which he also voiced in his visit to India, appeared to signal a somewhat tougher stance and a suggestion that the U.S. is becoming even more willing and quick to strike terrorist targets inside Pakistan. A senior U.S. official acknowledged Thursday that the recent increase in drone strikes on insurgents in Pakistan is due in part to frustration with Islamabad. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive operations."

Of particular concern, Panetta said, are fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani terrorist network. Having them crossing the border into Afghanistan and attacking coalition forces is an "intolerable situation," Panetta said.

Reports about his news conference do not say whether Panetta discussed what steps the U.S. might take to pressure Pakistan to do more. The U.S. has given Pakistan billions of dollars in military and other aid since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Last month, the Senate voted to trim $33 million from an upcoming aid package — $1 million for every year of a sentence imposed on a doctor who the U.S. says assisted in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

The defense secretary visited Afghanistan on his way home from a trip through Asia.

His visit follows Tuesday's deadly attack at a market near the Kandahar Air Field used by U.S. and coalition forces. Suicide bombers killed more than 20 civilians.

As the BBC points out:

"Pakistan denies providing safe havens. Pakistani officials have previously pointed to army operations against militant organizations in tribal areas, adding that many hundreds of Pakistani civilians and troops have died at the hands of such groups. ...

"But analysts [also] believe that Pakistan is reluctant to open a new front in its fight against militancy by attacking the Haqqani network, believed to be in the tribal region of North Waziristan."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Gene Wilder's Nephew Remembers Late Actor Who Starred In 'Willy Wonka'

NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Jordan Walker-Pearlman, the nephew of Gene Wilder, who died Monday at 83. Wilder is best known for his roles in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The Producers.
NPR

The Strange, Twisted Story Behind Seattle's Blackberries

Those tangled brambles are everywhere in the city, the legacy of an eccentric named Luther Burbank whose breeding experiments with crops can still be found on many American dinner plates.
NPR

Huma Abedin To Separate From Anthony Weiner After New Sexting Allegations

The longtime Hillary Clinton adviser said she made the decision "after long and painful consideration and work on my marriage."
NPR

A Robot That Harms: When Machines Make Life Or Death Decisions

An artist has designed a robot that purposefully defies Isaac Asimov's law that "a robot may not harm humanity" — to bring urgency to the discussion about self-driving and other smart technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.