Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2676

Public opinion against Taliban in Pakistan, says Holbrooke

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Washington, 11 June, (Asiantribune.com): The Obama administration's special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, says there is a backlash of Pakistani public opinion against the Taliban because of its attempted seizure of the Swat Valley and acts of terrorism.

Holbrooke, who visited Pakistan last week for a first-hand look at fighting-related humanitarian needs, says he observed a dramatic change in public opinion there because of what he called the "outrages" of the Taliban and their supporters.

But the US envoy warns that the consensus building in favor of the Pakistani government and its crackdown against extremists might be short-lived unless authorities can meet the needs of the hundreds-of-thousands of people displaced by the recent fighting, get people back to their homes and restore security.

Addressing reporters on Wednesday, Holbrooke said Islamabad faces a "daunting task" of dealing with internal refugees in addition to the country's economic problems. He stressed the need for quick action on aid to Pakistan by the US Congress and American allies in Europe and the Persian Gulf region.

Holbrooke met with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and key military leaders last week and said he found "new determination" on their part to deal with the Taliban and other extremists. He also noted the outrage among the displaced Pakistanis he met. "I want to stress that the refugees must be able to return. The test is not simply the military phase, but the ability of the government to get those people back into their homes as quickly as possible and provide them security," he maintained.

On his visit to Pakistan, Holbrooke also announced an additional pledge of $200 million for humanitarian aid that pushed the total US commitment in the current crisis to more than $300 million.

- Asian Tribune -

Share this


.