Irate Lawmakers Question US Pakistan-Afghan Ties

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The Obama administration defended its frayed relationship with Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan on Capitol Hill, Thursday.

Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it isn't always easy working with the war-torn countries, but walking away would undermine America's national security interests.
Those remarks were intended to calm lawmakers upset about Afghan President Hamid Karzai's claim that his country would fight alongside Pakistan if it were ever in a theoretical war against the U.S.

Ten years after the Taliban were sent packing, thousands of American troops are still in Afghanistan.

"Now more than ever, President Karzai's insult to America tells me that it's time for our country to stop pouring our limited taxpayer dollars and losing precious American lives in a country where we aren't even welcome," Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said this week.

"And even worse, where they have the gall to threaten to side against us," he added.

Meanwhile, Clinton also called the plight of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan deeply distressing, noting that some are treated "brutally."

"This is one of our biggest problems in the world right now, is there needs to be a greater acceptance of religious tolerance," she told lawmakers.

Clinton, who just returned from the region, said one of the negative consequences to the Arab Spring revolutions, is a growing tide of religious intolerance.

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