October 21, 2011 3:21:48 am
Setting the stage for a high-level diplomatic showdown,US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bluntly warned Pakistans leaders on Thursday that they would face serious consequences if they continued to tolerate safe havens for extremist organisations that have crossed the border to attack Americans and Afghans.
Theres no place to go any longer, Clinton said,referring to Pakistans leadership,in some of the Obama administrations most pointed language to date. The terrorists are on both sides of the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are killing both peoples, she said.
No one should be in any way mistaken about allowing this to continue without paying a very big price, Clinton said before leaving for Pakistan.
Her remarks underscored the fact that the war in Afghanistan along with hopes for a smooth American withdrawal by 2014 has become intertwined with Pakistans own insurgents,some of whom have the support of the countrys security services.
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Clinton,appearing with Afghanistans President,Hamid Karzai,said Pakistan could either be helping or hindering efforts to find both a military and a political resolution to the war. It is now,she said,a time for clarity.
We will be delivering a very clear message to the government of Pakistan and to the people of Pakistan because they too have suffered, she said. They have suffered at the hand of the same kind of terrorists. So there should be no support and no safe haven anywhere for people who kill the innocent.
Karzai,who has repeatedly accused Pakistan of interference in Afghanistan,echoed her remarks. STEVEN LEE MYERS
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