Boucher says now Taliban, al-Qaeda feeling “squeezed” between Pakistan, Afghanistan

Kabul, Apr 15: US Assistant Secretary of State, Richard BoucherUS Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Boucher has said that both the Taliban and Al Qaeda were lately facing a tough time in Pakistan-Afghanistan border areas as they have to fight on two fronts now, i. e. Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He said if more concerted efforts were carried by Pakistan and Afghanistan, the two extremist organizations would feel more squeezed.

“To some extent, the extremists in those areas are now fighting on two fronts. They have to deal with pressures from the Pakistan side and the pressure from the Afghan side. The more we can do that in concert with each other, the more squeezed the al-Qaeda and Taliban supporters in those areas will feel,” The News quoted Boucher as saying while addressing a news conference in Kabul.

Boucher claimed that after the formation of a new government in Islamabad, he has witnessed a renewed energy in relations between the two countries. “What I have found in our discussions is a real commitment to work together, to coordinate with each other ... more intensely,” he said.

A new government in Pakistan has called for a reassessment of efforts against militancy and it will try to open negotiations with militants, he said and added that the Pakistanis were determined to tackle the problem. “What we're seeing is now, first of all, a lot of Pakistanis unfortunately getting killed but also a lot of determination on the Pakistani side to deal with it,” he said.

“We're working very hard with the new Pakistani government to take advantage of the opportunity to build democracy and help work with them against extremism," he said.

Boucher also dismissed Taliban threats of more violence. “The Taliban threats this year of a winter wave seem to have gone the way of last year's spring offensive: it never really happened,” he said. (ANI)