Afghan Official Blasts Pakistan For Alleged Ties To Al Qaeda

07/06/2010 05:21 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Nicholas Sabloff and Doug Sarro The Huffington Post

Today's AfPak news round-up:

Afghan national security adviser blasts Pakistan over terror ties. Rangin Dadfar Spanta told reporters he had "tremendous evidence" that Pakistani authorities are harboring Al Qaeda and other terror groups, adding "because theoretically Pakistan is part of the anti-terror alliance, they have to begin to take some serious measures against terrorism." Spanta's remarks signal a shift within the Karzai government, which had avoided criticizing Pakistan in the hope that the Pakistan government would guarantee its security after NATO forces withdraw. [Express Tribune]

McCain presses Karzai on corruption, calls Kandahar key to NATO success. However, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) blasted House Democrats for trying to force Karzai to act against corruption by placing a hold on $4 billion in civilian aid. McCain, who is in Afghanistan on a two-day visit with Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), also argued that mounting Taliban attacks in Kandahar only indicate that the Taliban understand how important the province is to NATO's mission there, and there is no reason to withdraw early. Lieberman added, "we're not going to leave until we win." [Reuters, AP]

Al Qaeda not America's only threat in Afghanistan, say U.S. officials. Though the number of "card-carrying" Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan and Pakistan has fallen considerably, the terror group has reportedly developed deep ties to regional militant organizations, like the Pakistan Taliban and the Haqqani network, and persuaded them to directly target the United States. U.S. officials point to failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad as an example of what could happen if U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan before these local groups are subdued. [AP]

Taliban commander killed by Pakistani forces. Ameer Ullah Mehsud, a co-founder of the Pakistan Taliban responsible for several terror attacks in Pakistan, was killed in a skirmish in North Waziristan. [CNN]