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MacKay says Pakistan most dangerous country

Canadian Press

ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. — The current instability in Pakistan makes it the most dangerous country in the world, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said today.

Mr. MacKay's comments come on the heels of a major Pakistani military offensive that's been launched in the country's northwest region to take on the Taliban.

He said the simmering insurgency is difficult to combat. “I'm extremely concerned,” Mr. MacKay said during a stop in St. John's, N.L., for an unrelated announcement.

The Pakistani military responded to the Taliban last month after insurgents in Swat Valley tried to impose their reign on other neighbouring areas. Swat Valley came under Taliban control about two years ago.

Mr. MacKay said it will remain challenging to establish peace in Afghanistan until greater strides are made in taking on the insurgency in that country as well as neighbouring Pakistan.

“Clearly the impact on the mission in Afghanistan is based on the ability of the Taliban to recruit, to regenerate, to re-arm and then move that insurgency back inside the borders of Afghanistan.”

Mr. MacKay said cutting off the Taliban's supply chain and the addition of some 17,000 more U.S. soldiers will help bring security to Afghanistan, particularly the Kandahar region.

However, the volatile situation in Pakistan creates more challenges. “As long as insurgency is allowed to foster and to incubate inside Pakistan, the problem remains very real, very difficult.”

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