Pakistan needs to take 'decisive action' against militants: CENTCOM commander

Pakistan Forward

WASHINGTON, DC -- The United States expects Pakistan to take decisive action against members of the Taliban and Haqqani Network who operate from its territory, said a top US general Tuesday (February 27).

Members and leaders of various militant groups "continue to find sanctuary in Pakistan," a situation that jeopardises regional security and threatens the lives of US personnel and US interests, Gen. Joseph Votel, who heads US Central Command (CENTCOM), told the House Armed Services Committee.

Votel added that he has started to see "positive indicators" from the Pakistani military.

"Through their communications, they're reporting to us some of the actions that they are taking on the ground. ... It does not yet equal the decisive action that we would like to see them take, in terms of a strategic shift, but they are positive indicators, and it gives me hope that our approach is the right one."

Co-operation with Pakistan is key to attaining success in the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan, where thousands of extra US troops are due to begin training Afghan counterparts this spring, added Votel.

The top CENTCOM commander acknowledged Pakistan's "many sacrifices in the war against terrorism, including important contributions in significantly degrading al-Qaeda and combatting ISIS [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria]".

He speaks routinely with his Pakistani counterpart, he added.

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