While Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn was reassuring Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari that the United States would meet all of Pakistan’s security needs. Secretary Robert Gates was in Afghanistan, trying to reassure marines about the situation.
During a public question-and-answer session with the marines, Gates told a sergeant that he didn’t have to “worry about going to Pakistan.” Gates seemed quite confident of the Pakistani government’s ability to defeat the militant factions in the Swat Valley, despite failing to do so in the past. He said he believed that the Taliban had “overreached” in attempting to move into the Buner district, and was “very satisfied” with the Pakistani government’s response, which was to abandon the peace deal in the Swat Valley and declare all out war.
Gates was carefully non-committal on the massive death toll in Farah Province, saying that he intended to hold off on commenting until he saw the results of the investigation. He did however say he had “seen those reports” which alleged that the Taliban had manufactured the entire incident.
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