Afghan minister calls for anti-rebel attacks in Pakistan

Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta said Monday the battle against insurgents in his country must be taken to its “breeding ground” in neighbouring Pakistan.

Spanta, speaking in Berlin after talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said “the geographical approach” to stamping out unrest in his country must be broadened.

“The ideological and military training camps (for extremists active in Afghanistan) are in the mountains of Pakistan,” he told reporters, calling the region a “breeding ground for terrorists.”

“We need to stop that,” he said. “We must not give them the chance to use terror as an instrument of foreign policy.”

Spanta, speaking in German which he learned as a political refugee and student in the western city of Aachen, said his government had supported Pakistani president-elect Asif Ali Zardari and would aim to work with him on regional security issues.

His remarks came after at least 21 people including women and children were killed Monday in a missile strike by suspected US drones on a Pakistan tribal town near the Afghan border.

The drones fired several missiles that hit a house near a madrassa (Islamic seminary) in North Waziristan, the officials said, in the fourth such strike in the rugged tribal region in almost a week. US and Afghan officials say Pakistan’s tribal areas are a safe haven for Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants who sneaked into the rugged terrain after the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001.