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Pakistan lacks the will to fight terror: Obama


Updated: January 31, 2012, 11:45 AM IST
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Pakistan lacks the will to fight terror: Obama
Barack Obama has also acknowledged that American drones regularly target terrorists in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Washington: During his first ever live video conference hosted by Google+ Hangout, US President Barack Obama hit out at Pakistan for its inability to fight terrorism. Obama was responding to a war veteran's question but defended his government's move to continue giving Islamabad millions in aid.

"When it comes to the fight against terror, Pakistan either lacks resources or the will," said Obama, saying America needs to pump in funds, to tackle terror.

American drones regularly target terrorists in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, Obama has also said in the first such acknowledgment by the top US leadership on its highly successful but secretive programme.

"A lot of these strikes have been in the FATA, and going after al-Qaeda suspects who are up in very tough terrain along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan," Obama said in response to a question during his Google+ and You Tube live web chat from the White House.

"For us to be able to get them in another way would involve probably a lot more intrusive military action than the ones we're already engaging in," Obama said. More than 130,000 questions were received, the White House said.

Obama said these strikes by unmanned drones are regularly carried out and these are "targeted focussed effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists".

"For the most part, they've been very precise precision strikes against al-Qaeda and their affiliates, and we're very careful in terms of how it's been applied," he said, responding to the question.

This is for the first time that the US has publicly acknowledged the drone attacks inside Pakistan. The United States so far had refrained from publicly speaking on this issue.

According to the US media, 64 US missile strikes were reported in the area in 2011, down from 101 in 2010. The US drone attacks have been increased during Obama's presidency.

(With additional information from PTI)

First Published: January 31, 2012, 11:45 AM IST
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