U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) arrives with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar (L) for a joint press conference after their talks in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, on Oct.21, 2011. (Xinhua/Ahmad Kamal)
ISLAMABAD, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday described the Taliban-linked Haqqani network a serious threat to both Afghanistan and Pakistan and urged Islamabad to take action against the "safe heavens" of all such groups on its soil.
"With respect to the Haqqanis, we both agreed that terrorism coming from any source is a threat to all of us. We expressed very clearly our concerns about `safe heavens` on both sides of the border," Clinton told a joint news conference along with her Pakistani counterpart after their talks.
"We reasserted our commitment to doing more on the Afghan side of the border to try to eliminate `safe heavens` that fuel insurgency and attacks inside Pakistan. And we asked very specifically for greater cooperation from Pakistani side to squeeze the Haqqani network and other terrorists because we know trying to eliminate terrorists on one side not going to work,"she said.
Hillary Clinton warned that action would have to be taken against militants if they continued attacks into Afghanistan.
She said that these efforts would focus on getting the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as the Haqqani network, involved.
"Now we have to turn our attention here on the Pakistani Taliban, Afghan Taliban, Haqqani and other terrorist groups and try to get them into a peace process," she said, adding "but if that failed, prevent them from committing more violence and murdering more innocent people."
Clinton said that the U.S. asked very specifically for greater cooperation from the Pakistani side to squeeze the Haqqani network and other terrorists."We know that trying to eliminate terrorists and `safe havens` on one side of the border is not going to work," she added.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar admitted that her country could do more to prevent militant groups from operating within its borders. Khar dispelled the impression that Pakistani institutions support the insurgent groups and said that insurgent `safe havens` exist on both sides of the border with Afghanistan and the two countries could co-operate better to tackle the problem.
"Yes, they do exist both sides. Do we need to cooperate? Yes. We can cooperate more and achieve better results,"Khar said.
"There is no question of any support by any Pakistani institutions to `safe havens`. Let me be very clear and unequivocal on that,"she added.