London, Mar.1 : The Bush Administration has expressed concern over a report that the Pakistan Government has secretly revived a controversial peace deal with militants in the country's tribal areas near Afghanistan, where the army has struggled to tackle al-Qa'eda and the Taliban. According to the Dawn, American officials fear that the deal will allow militants to strengthen their forces in the area. President George W Bush's government claimed that a similar deal last year had allowed al-Qa'eda to rebuild and had led to an increase in cross-border infiltration into Afghanistan by militants.
The risks involved were underscored last night when at least 38 people were killed and 50 wounded in a suicide bomb attack at a funeral in Mingora, in Swat. The number of dead was expected to rise.
"It is critical that ground gained during recent operations is not lost," a senior Western diplomat was quoted, as saying.
The last deal in North Waziristan survived for 10 months, until it was called off last July by militants.
The Pakistan Army has about 100,000 troops in the region where more than 1,000 of them, and hundreds of civilians, have been killed.