Massive flooding that has submerged vast swaths of Pakistan has stretched thin the Pakistani military and will hamper its fight against terrorists, the country’s ambassador to the United States said in an exclusive interview with Associated Press.
The military’s resources, particularly its limited supply of helicopters, are busy with flood relief, Husain Haqqani said, adding that going after extremists in North Waziristan or other terrorist havens will depend on the military’s continuing capabilities. Pakistan has asked the United States for additional military equipment and training, and there are a number of pending requests, Haqqani told news agency.
But he said his chief goal now is to ensure that Pakistan receives reconstruction and other aid to help recover from the flooding. He said he worries that money will be diverted from previously approved spending, while the country needs new allocations to rebuild bridges and other facilities, prevent disease, restore crops and dispose of dead livestock.
Still, Haqqani and senior defense leaders say that Pakistan has continued its operations against al-Qaida in the west and northwest of their country. “It’s like watching a tsunami wave in slow motion to see the devastation that’s still occurring,” LeFever told reporters. He also acknowledged that some of the country’s aviation assets had been diverted to flood relief operations.