US daily warns against unilateral strikes in Pak to combat Qaeda

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Washington, Jan 11 : US must not carry out unilateral operation in Pakistan's Tribal Areas to combat Al Qaeda because it might have "calamitous unintended consequences", both on Pakistan and the US, instead it should enhance co-operation with the Pakistani military and intelligence services, said a leading American newspaper.

In an article published in today's edition, the Boston Globe said that Pakistani military and intelligence services had "strong reasons of their own to crush the head of that snake".

Warning the Bush administration against the unilateral operation by US special forces in Pakistan's Tribal Areas, it said it would be "a foolish undertaking, one that is almost certain to have calamitous unintended consequences".

It further said that while concerns about Al Qaeda's increasing strength and how it has reconstituted itself in Pakistan are to be taken seriously, the understandable impulse to go after Al Qaeda with US operatives, rather than Pakistani troops or security services, has to be "weighed against the likely outcome of American armed intervention in Pakistan".

"Once it becomes known that America violated international law and Pakistan's sovereignty, nearly all the disparate groups across the Pakistani political spectrum will be united in anger aimed at the American interventionists. The domestic effect within Pakistan will be to strengthen Islamist currents, allowing the army and President Musharraf to be painted as stooges of an arrogant superpower," it added.

It suggested that US policy makers ought to recognise that a decision to land US troops on the ground in the tribal areas is "almost certain to make nuclear-armed Pakistan more unstable".

"Such actions will make it harder than ever for political parties and for individual democrats or human rights advocates in Pakistan to side with America. Conversely, the Pakistanis most vulnerable to the propaganda of Al Qaeda and its affiliates will turn more anti-American than ever."

ANI

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