Defense secretary says militants flee to safety after mounting attacks.
On a trip to Afghanistan, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday that the U.S. and the NATO coalition was running out of patience with Pakistan when it comes to cracking down on militant groups, Bloomberg reported.
“It’s an increasing concern that safe havens continue to exist” in Pakistan, Panetta told reporters in Kabul, noting that the Haqqani network is able to flee to safety after mounting attacks. “We are reaching the limits of our patience here and for that reason it’s extremely important that Pakistan take action.”
Panetta’s visit comes amid increasing violence in Afghanistan, and following a controversial NATO air strike that Afghan officials claim killed 18 women and children. NATO says no civilians were killed, but a joint NATO-Afghan investigation has begun.
Panetta arrived just one day after a suicide attack killed 23 Afghan civilians in Kandahar City.