Do more to fight terror, US tells Pak

Do more to fight terror, US tells Pak

While Afghanistan has dominated the public discussion of Obama’s strategy, which officials say could be announced as early as this week, Pakistan is returning to centre stage in administration planning. As the president travelled to Asia, his national security adviser General James L Jones was quietly sent to Islamabad, its capital.
His message, officials said, was that the new American strategy would work only if Pakistan broadened its fight beyond the militants attacking its cities and security forces and went after the groups that use havens in Pakistan for plotting and carrying out attacks against American troops in Afghanistan, as well as support networks for the al-Qaeda.

General Jones praised the Pakistani operation in South Waziristan but urged the Pakistani officials to combat extremists who fled to North Waziristan.
Jones also delivered a letter from Obama to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in which Obama said he expected Zardari to rally the nation’s political and security institutions in a united campaign against extremists threatening Pakistan and Afghanistan, said an official.

Deep fears
For their part, Pakistani officials have told the Americans that they harbour two deep fears about Obama’s new strategy: that the US will add too many troops on the Afghan side of the border, and that the American effort will end too soon.
Their first concern, described by officials on both sides of the recent discussions, is that if Obama commits an additional 30,000 or more troops, it will inevitably push more Taliban fighters across the border into Pakistani territory and complicate the South Waziristan offensive.

In his letter to Zardari, Obama offered a range of new incentives to the Pakistanis for their cooperation, including enhanced intelligence sharing and military cooperation, according to the official who had been briefed on the letter’s contents.

The New York Times

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily