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Pakistan Says U.S. Warning On Militants Hurts Ties


NATO and Afghan troops attend to casualties during the battle with Taliban insurgents who took over a building near the US Embassy in Kabul on September 13-14.
The Pakistani Foreign Ministry says a U.S. warning on militants based in Pakistan goes against counterterrorism cooperation between the two allies.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on September 14 that the United States would do whatever it took to defend American forces in Afghanistan from Pakistan-based militants.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua responded by saying the remarks "are not in line with the cooperation that exits between the two countries."

U.S. officials, including Panetta, blamed September 13 rocket and gun attacks on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters and other targets in Kabul on the Haqqani network, a group based in Pakistan and allied with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Sixteen people were killed in the attack and ensuing battle, which lasted some 20 hours.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry on September 15 accused Pakistan-based elements of planning the Kabul attacks, according to RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan.

A ministry spokesman speaking to RFA called on officials in Islamabad to “realize and understand that peace and stability in Afghanistan is in their benefit too."

U.S. officials also suspect the Haqqani network of orchestrating the September 10 truck bombing at a NATO outpost in Afghanistan's Wardak Province that killed four civilians and wounded 77 U.S. troops.

Pakistani officials say Pakistan is doing all it can to stop militants from crossing into Afghanistan, and that there is no proof of such cross-border attacks.

compiled from Reuters and RFE/RL reports