Terrorists have safe havens in Pakistan: President Obama
President Barack Obama's first News Conference covered a range of Issues dealing with US economy to world's hotspot.
Obama has sent a strong warning to Pakistan in his first press conference after assuming office on January 20.
In a stern warning to Pakistan, President Barack Obama on Tuesday asserted that his administration would not allow "safe havens" for Al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists operating with "impunity" in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.
This is the message his special envoy Richard Holbrooke, currently in Islamabad, has been asked to deliver to Pakistan, Obama said.
"My bottom line is that we cannot allow Al-Qaida to operate. We cannot have those safe havens in that region,"
"With respect to Afghanistan, this is going to be a big challenge. I think because of the extraordinary work done by our troops and some very good diplomatic work done by Ambassador Crocker in Iraq, we just saw an election in Iraq that went relatively peacefully and you get a sense that the political system is now functioning in a meaningful way. You do not see that yet in Afghanistan. They've got elections coming up, but effectively the national government seems very detached from what's going on in the surrounding community. In addition, you've got the Taliban and al Qaeda operating in the Fatah and these border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan and what we haven't seen is the kind of concerted effort to root out those safe havens that would ultimately make our mission successful. So we are undergoing a thorough review, not only is general Petraeus, now the head of CentCom conducting his own review, he's now working in concert with the special envoy that I sent over, Richard Holbrooke, one of our top diplomats, to evaluate a regional approach. We are going to need more effective coordination of our military efforts with diplomatic efforts with development efforts with more effective coordination with our allies in order for us to be successful. The bottom line, though, and I just want to remember the American people, because this is going to be difficult, this is a situation in which a region served as the base to launch an attack that killed 3,000 Americans. And this past week I met with families of those who were lost in 9/11, a reminder of the costs of allowing those safe havens to exist. My bottom line is that we cannot allow al Qaeda to operate. We cannot have those safe havens in that region. And we're going to have to work both smartly and effectively but with consistency in order to make sure that those safe havens don't exist. I do not have yet a timetable for how long that's going to take. What I know is I'm not going to allow al Qaeda or bin Laden to operate with impunity, planning attacks on the U.S. Homeland.