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Pakistan exporting violence: Mullen

Pakistan is "exporting violence" to Afghanistan, America's top US military officer has claimed.

Admiral Mike Mullen said the situation threatens not only the frayed US-Pakistani partnership against terrorism but also the prospects for a successful outcome to the decade-old war in Afghanistan.

In his final congressional testimony before retiring next week, Admiral Mullen said success in Afghanistan is threatened not only by the Pakistani government's support for the Haqqani network and other al Qaida-aligned extremist groups, but also by Afghan government corruption.

Admiral Mullen, appearing before the Senate armed services committee, said: "I believe we risk leaving behind a government in which we cannot reasonably expect Afghans to have faith. At best, this would lead to localised conflicts inside the country; at worst it could lead to government collapse and civil war."

He said Pakistan's government has chosen to "use violent extremism as an instrument of policy", adding that "by exporting violence, they have eroded their internal security and their position in the region. They have undermined their international credibility and threatened their economic well-being".

Testifying alongside him, defence secretary Leon Panetta also decried Pakistani support for the Haqqani network and said Pakistani authorities have been told in unequivocal terms that the US will not tolerate a continuation of the group's cross-border attacks.

"They must take steps to prevent the safe haven that the Haqqanis are using," Mr Panetta said. "We simply cannot allow these kinds of terrorists to be able to go into Afghanistan, attack our forces and then return to Pakistan for safe haven."


From Belfast Telegraph