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Rooting out Pak based Al-Qaeda centers, key to success in Afghanistan: Britain
( Mar 19 2009 )

Washington, Mar.19 (ANI): British Defense Minister John Hutton has said that the key to success in the ‘War on terror’ in Afghanistan lies in rooting out the command and control centers of Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups operating from Pakistan.

Talking to media persons before meeting with US Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Hutton said: “The Taliban and al-Qaeda have got to know there is no safe haven.”

Commenting on the Obama administration’s decision to send in 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan to facilitate the war, Hutton said the reinforcement would make a very significant difference.

British forces will continue their operation in Helmand to focus on the population centers, he said.

When asked about US President Barack Obama’s call for reconciliation with the moderate faction of the Taliban, Hutton said  that it would be better to initiate talks from a stronger position.

"It''s better to negotiate from a position of strength,” The Washington Post quoted Hutton, as saying.

The ‘War on Terror’ in Afghanistan is considered as the most intense battle that the British military has been engaged in since the Second World War. British troops form the second largest military contingent after the US, which has been involved in the eight year long battle in Afghanistan. (ANI)

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