US Gets Tough on Pak, Seeks Action in Waziristan

New York
US Gets Tough on Pak, Seeks Action in Waziristan
The US has delivered a tough new warning to Pakistan, asking it to quickly crack down against militants in North Waziristan, where the Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad is said to have been trained.

With the trail of the latest attempted terror strike in New York leading to Pakistan, the administration appears to be losing its patience with its war on terror ally, and has warned it to act against extremists or face the consequences.

US military commander in Afghanistan Gen Stanley A McChrystal met Pakistani military chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Islamabad yesterday and pressed for a new military offensive in North Waziristan, the main base of the Pakistan Taliban, a report said today.

McCrystal urged Pakistan to move more quickly in beginning a military offensive against the Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in North Waziristan, New York Times said quoting American and Pakistani officials.

The Pakistan Army has finished major military offensives in militant-strongholds of the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwah province, and has also launched a ground operation in South Waziristan but has so far been jittery in extending it to North Waziristan.

The paper said Kayani was essentially told: "You can't pretend any longer that this is not going on... We are saying you have got to go into North Waziristan".

The province is a major base of key militants of Pakistan Taliban and al Qaeda, and is considered the main hideout of fighters of the Haqqani network, and has been the centre of frequent strikes by US drones.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also warned of "very severe consequences" if a terror plot was traced to Pakistan.

"We've made it very clear that if, heaven-forbid, an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences," Clinton said.

The fresh pressure on Pakistan is being viewed as a sharp turnaround from the relatively polite encouragement adopted by the Obama administration in recent months, the daily said.

"We are saying, 'Sorry, if there is a successful attack, we will have to act'" within Pakistan, an unnamed American official was quoted as saying.

It also comes at a time when there is an increasing debate within the administration about how to expand US' military influence on Pakistani soil, including boots-on- the-ground presence, it said.

Pakistani-American Shahzad, has allegedly told investigators that he had received training in the lawless North Waziristan.
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