US favors cooperative effort for Pakistan's Waziristan area

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Washington, Jan 17 (UNI) The Bush Administration has called for a cooperative effort to deal with the situation in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) which includes North and South Waziristan, a known stronghold of pro-Taliban and al-Qaeda militants.

An observation to this effect was made yesterday by State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack while responding to press reports suggesting that militants have overrun a paramilitary fort in the region, killing or kidnapping many troops.

He said, we have a strategy that we continually review with respect to the FATA, So it's something that is occupying quite a bit of our time at the State Department, DOD (Department of Defense) as well as the White House.

So we know, it's an important issue. It's an important issue for Pakistan as well and Pakistan's future, McCormack added.

McCormack said President [Pervez] Musharraf, I think within the past year, had a strategy, that he announced, aimed at getting at rooting out the militants in Waziristan and trying to integrate those regions into Pakistan.

''I think after some time he's taken a look at that plan and decided that it needs a second look. And as they develop and refine their strategies, we're going to, of course, refine our strategies along with them.'' This needs to be a cooperative effort, but it's something that we,re watching very closely, Spokesman McCormack said.

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