U.S. poised to attack Pakistan extremists

This is from the Australian.
It seems that relationships between the U.S. and Pakistan are going from bad to worse. This is not helped by the fact that the U.S. and India are pursuing a nuclear deal. Sometimes I wonder if the U.S. policy makers have much of a clue of the effects they have had in pursuing the so-called war on terror. For one thing they have managed to make Iran one of the key winners by invading Iraq. The Badr brigades and the Shiites in the Maliki government have close ties with Iran much closer than the U.S. maligned Sadr Mahdi militia. Now the U.S. is ensuring that Pakistan will be forced to take a stronger anti-U.S. policy and Pakistani intelligence may forge links between it and the Taliban to undermine the Karzai government. There is already some evidence that Pakistani intelligence may have been involved in the recent attack on the Indian consulate in Kabul.

US poised to attack Pakistan extremists

Bruce Loudon, South Asia correspondent July 11, 2008
US commandos are reportedly poised to launch raids against al-Qa'ida and Taliban targets in Pakistan as Washington moves an aircraft carrier into the Arabian Sea.
The redeployment of the Abraham Lincoln and its escort vessels from the Gulf yesterday came after US military intelligence officials recorded an increase in the number of foreign fighters travelling to Pakistan's tribal areas to join with militants.
A US military spokesman told the The New York Times there had been a corresponding drop in the number of foreign fighters entering Iraq -- now less than 40 a month, compared with up to 110 a month one year ago -- and that "the flow may reflect a change that is making Pakistan, not Iraq, the preferred destination for some Sunni extremists from the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia seeking to take up arms against the West".
The officials say the influx shows a strengthening of al-Qa'ida forces in the tribal areas, a key base of support for the Taliban.
The paper reported that jihadist websites were encouraging foreign militants to go to Pakistan and Afghanistan, which was considered a "winning fight," compared with the insurgency in Iraq.
Three US congressmen back from a trip to the region revealed yesterday they were briefed about US plans to stage raids against targets in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, where most of the militancy feeding the insurgency in Afghanistan is believed to be based.
The congressmen said plans for heightened US military operations were in response to Pakistan's failure to disrupt terrorist training camps and cross-border attacks blamed for the almost 40per cent increase in Taliban attacks in Afghanistan in recent months. Attacks in Afghanistan in June exceeded those in Iraq.
Pakistan's new democratic Government has insisted it would not allow cross-border raids into its territory by any country.
One of the congressmen was quoted as saying: "If we don't do something now, they're going to strike us again (in the US), and it is going to be out of this area."
Democrat Henry Cuellar added: "Either Pakistan does more or we will be taking things into our own hands. If our troops are fired on, there will be hot pursuit into that territory."
Frustration with Pakistan spilled over at the UN yesterday when Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta told the Security Council that a key reason for the worsening security in his country was "the de facto truce" in Pakistan's tribal areas.
The new Government in Islamabad began talks with Islamic militants in the region soon after winning elections in February, including with Taliban warlord Baitullah Mehsud, who was blamed by the previous government and the US for the December assassination of former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto.
"One of the main factors contributing to the deterioration of the security situation in the country is the de facto truce in the tribal areas beyond the border," Mr Spanta said.
A secret agreement between the US and President Pervez Musharraf to allow US special forces to enter Pakistan in pursuit of terrorists in the FATA region is said to have stalled under the new administration in Islamabad.
Jihadi forces have promised to increase suicide bombings if it co-operates with coalition operations in Pakistan.
Additional reporting: AFP


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