By Jeremy Herb - 06/07/12 02:31 PM EDT
Panetta’s comments amplified tough talk against Pakistan during his trip to Asia, continuing a line of criticism he used while speaking in India Wednesday when he said the United States was “at war in the FATA [Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas].”
“It is an increasing concern that the safe haven exists and that there are those — likely Haqqanis — who are making use of that to attack our forces," Panetta said.
"We are reaching the limits of our patience here, and for that reason it is extremely important that Pakistan take action to prevent this kind of safe haven from taking place and allowing terrorists to use their country as a safety net in order to conduct their attacks on our forces," he said.
The Haqqanis operating out of Pakistan is one of the major concerns that NATO forces have as they draw down and hand off security control to the Afghans in 2014.
The militant group, which lawmakers are pushing the Obama administration to label a terrorist organization, has been one source of frustration in deteriorating U.S.-Pakistan relations since the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
For more on Panetta's remarks, click here.