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McCain scolds Pakistan on Haqqani network support

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 29, 2011 | Last Updated: 10 years ago
Posted: Nov 29, 2011 | Last Updated: 10 years ago

WASHINGTON: Key US Senator John McCain expressed sorrow on Monday at the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers in weekend NATO strikes but scolded Pakistan over support for extremist fighters killing US forces in Afghanistan.The Republican lawmaker said all Americans were “deeply saddened” by the killings and backed NATO’s vow “to investigate this tragedy thoroughly and immediately” but sharply rebuked Islamabad over the decade-old Afghan war.“It is important to note that certain facts in Pakistan continue to complicate significantly the ability of coalition and Afghan forces to succeed in Afghanistan,” he said in a statement.“Pakistan’s intelligence agency continues to support the Haqqani network and other terrorist groups that are killing US and Afghan forces in Afghanistan, and the vast majority of the material used to make improvised explosive devices originates from two fertilizer factories in Pakistan,” said McCain.His comments came after Pakistan vowed no more “business as usual” with the United States in response to the weekend strikes, but stopped short of threatening to break the troubled alliance altogether.NATO and the United States sought to limit the fallout of Saturday’s attack as Pakistan shut vital supply routes to the 140,000 foreign troops serving in Afghanistan and ordered a review of its US alliance.The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar, told reporters relations were “very complex” and warned against calls to cut off US aid to Islamabad, seen as an important if volatile ally against extremists.“I would not recommend that we take action of that sort,” said Lugar, a leading champion of expanded aid to Pakistan to win over its people and dilute mistrust of the United States. AGENCIES

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