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Pak abdicating to the Taliban: Clinton

Washington, Apr.23 (ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has accused the Government of Pakistan of “abdicating” to the Taliban and other extremist groups by ceding large tracts of territory.

She said that the country’s instability is a “mortal threat” to world peace.

“I think that the Pakistani government is basically abdicating to the Taliban and to the extremists,” the New York Times quoted Clinton as telling the House Foreign Affairs Committee as she responded to questions on an array of topics.

Clinton spoke during an exchange with panel members about a recent agreement by the Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, under prodding from religious conservatives within his country, to allow the imposition of harsh Islamic law in the Swat Valley.

Clinton said, the deterioration of security in nuclear-armed Pakistan “poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world.”

“If you talk to people in Pakistan, especially in the ungoverned territories, which are increasing in number, they don’t believe the state has a judiciary system that works. It’s corrupt, it doesn’t extend its power into the countryside. So the government of Pakistan, however it is constituted, which is of course their business, not ours, must begin to deliver government services. They are going to lose out to those who show up and claim that they can solve people’s problems, and then they will impose this harsh form of oppression on women and others,” she was quoted, as saying.

One of the major concerns is that from the hills of Buner the Taliban have access to the flatlands of the district of Swabi, which lead directly to the four-lane motorway that runs from Islamabad to Peshawar, the capital of North-West Frontier Province.

The Pakistani military does not have a presence in Buner, Pakistani and Western officials said. The main government authority in Buner is the police, who have become demoralized by their low pay and lack of equipment in the face of the Taliban, Pakistani police officials say. (ANI)

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