US, Pakistan Officials Trade Accusations at Tense Conference

Obama Aide: 'Unfair' to Complain About Afghan Safezones for Taliban

by Jason Ditz, July 27, 2012

The border may have opened earlier this month (though closed now for security reasons), but the relationship between the US and Pakistan remains far from rosy. A press conference today fueled yet more acrimony as a top Obama aide blasted Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman.

The two had been discussing cross border raids and Ambassador Rehman brought up the growing number of attacks against the Swat Valley from Pakistani Taliban operating in the Afghan Kunar Province, where very little attempt seems to be made to dislodge them.

The Obama aide, former Gen. Douglas Lute, expressed outrage at the statement, saying there is “no comparison” between Taliban crossing into Pakistan from Afghanistan to launch attacks and Taliban crossing into Afghanistan from Pakistan launching attacks, insisting it is “unfair” to even compare them.

Rehman scored her own points later in the talk, responding to Lute’s praise of Obama’s efforts along the border by slamming the ongoing US drone strikes against Pakistani territory, noting that it “adds to the pool of recruits we’re fighting against.”

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