Washington: American lawmakers have lauded US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta for finally acknowledging that his country is at war within the boundaries of the nominal US ally, Pakistan.

"I think it's helpful for us to understand and develop policies based on reality," Dana Rohrabacher, Congressman from New York and one of the harshest critic of Pakistan was quoted as saying by The Hill.

Panetta, in New Delhi, had said that the US was fighting a war in the federally administered tribal areas (FATA) of Pakistan.

"I think it's part of the theatre of war. It's a place where the enemy seeks sanctuary," Senator Graham Lindsey told The Hill, the newspaper of the Capitol Hill.

"The realism of the situation is that there are the elements of the Pakistani military, specifically the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence], that are supporting the Haqqani network that is killing Americans," Senator John McCain said.

"Whether you call that being at war or not, that's up to you. I don't view it as being at war, but I certainly view it as a situation which is not acceptable," the Senator said.

The comment of these lawmakers was reflective of the growing frustration against Pakistan in the US.

In recent weeks not only several legislations have been tabled in the Congress to cut US aid to Pakistan, but also key Congressional committees have recommended suspension of American aid to Pakistan.

Last week, a Senate committee slashed funding by USD33 million in retaliation for a lengthy prison sentence against a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA track down bin Laden.


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