Panetta on Pakistan

08/06/2012

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak on Thursday held a joint press conference at the Ministry of Defence in Kabul, during which they confirmed NATO’s assistance post 2014.

 

Panetta also commented on Pakistan’s refusal of access for NATO trucks supplying troops in Afghanistan, declaring “We are reaching the limits of our patience here”. Pakistan last offer was a tariff of $5,000 per container.

 

These comments come at a time of U.S. frustration over Pakistan’s general reluctance in helping with the fight against terrorism, in particular against Taliban networks based in the country territory and responsible for attacks on civilians and NATO forces.

 

“it is extremely important that Pakistan takes action to prevent this kind of safe haven and terrorists using their country as a safety net in order to conduct their attacks on our forces” (…) “We have every responsibility to defend ourselves and we are going to make very clear that we are prepared to take them on” Panetta declared.

 

Pakistan on Tuesday tested its fifth nuclear–capable missile since April 25. The Haft VII cruise missile has a range of 700 kilometres and is reported to have high manoeuvrability, accuracy and radar avoidance features.

 

This recent increase in military capabilities follows India’s successful test  on April 20 (read more), of its first long-range intercontinental ballistic missile, the Agni V capable of carrying a one-tonne nuclear warhead and reaching targets in China.

© 120607-D-BW835-491 DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
source: flickr.com