US against Pakistan's collaboration with Taliban
WASHINGTON, July 8: The United States has said Pakistan's collaboration with the Taliban, who are providing sanctuary to "international terrorist" Osama bin Laden, is the major obstacle to improved relations between Washington and Islamabad.
"American concerns about the threat from Osama bin Laden remains the major obstacle to improved relations between Washington and the military-run government of Pakistan, one of Afghanistan's (Taliban's) few allies and its major diplomatic channel to the world," outgoing US ambassador to Pakistan William B. Milam said.
The Washington Post on Sunday quoted Mr Milam as saying that he was discouraged by the outcome of his meetings with Pakistan officials about its collaboration with the Taliban.
"The Taliban have collaborated with Pakistan in its support of Islamic insurgents in Kashmir, and have close ties to conservative Islamic groups inside Pakistan," he said.
" It was clear," said Mr Milam about his talks with Pakistan officials on the subject, "we still have a long way to go before coming to a meeting of the minds on this issue."
The departing US ambassador conveyed American concerns about bin Laden during his final courtesy calls on Pakistan officials and Taliban diplomats stationed here, The Post said.
In Washington, officials met Pakistan's Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, who reportedly told them that Pakistan had little power over the Taliban and needed to maintain cordial relations with the group because of Afghanistan's strategic location and longstanding friendship.
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