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Obama stress on militants hurts Afghanistan

Latest Breaking News:  President Barack Obama’s warning to Islamabad over suspected ties to militants will hurt efforts to steady Afghanistan and fuel anti-Americanism, the chairman of Pakistan’s Senate Foreign Affairs Committee said on Friday.

US President Barak Obama

Pakistan is seen as critical to bringing peace to neighboring Afghanistan, but the United States has failed to persuade it to go after militant groups it says cross the border to attack Western forces in Afghanistan.

“This is not helping the United States, Afghanistan or Pakistan,” Salim Saifullah told Reuters. “There will be pressure on the (Pakistan) government to get out of this war,” he said, referring to the U.S. war on militancy.

Obama warned Pakistan on Thursday that its ties with “unsavory characters” had put relations with the United States at risk, as he ratcheted up pressure on Islamabad to cut links with militants mounting attacks in Afghanistan.

He accused Pakistan’s leaders of “hedging their bets” on Afghanistan’s future, but stopped short of threatening to cut off U.S. aid, despite calls from lawmakers for a tougher line over accusations that Pakistani intelligence supported strikes on U.S. targets in Afghanistan.

Pakistan joined America’s “war on terror” after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. But its performance against militants is a frequent source of tension between Washington and Islamabad.

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