Operations against terrorists in Pak's tribal areas closely co-ordinated: Pentagon

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Washington, Mar 29 : Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defence, has said that operations against terrorists in Pakistan's tribal areas were closely co-ordinated with Islamabad, and that the latter recognises the fact that it was fighting a common enemy with the US.

"Our operations with Pakistan are closely co-ordinated. Pakistan recognises that we fight a common enemy when it comes to terrorists," the Daily Times quoted Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman as saying while speaking to reporters here last evening.

He said this when asked to comment on the reported increase in unilateral US strikes in Pakistan's Tribal Areas.

He said that some analysts in Washington wonder why the US would step up the drone attacks, and why the story was leaked to US English daily Washington Post. Christine Fair, a South Asia analyst at the RAND Corporation, when approached for comment said that if the motive is to put pressure on the Pakistani government, it is misguided.

Christine said that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has been rendered irrelevant by the new elected government, and the decision on co-operation is actually made by the army chief, General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani. "This does not make any sense. Everyone here knows that Kayani makes the decision to co-operate or not to co-operate. Everyone I have spoken to believes that Kayani is very much willing to co-operate. So why would you escalate those very attacks that would put pressure on Kayani when everyone believes that Kayani is cooperating? So I really don't understand the logic of this," she said.

Noted South Asia expert Teresita Schaffer reportedly said that the prospect of a policy shift in Islamabad would make Washington uneasy. "I would not exclude the possibility that doing something different might be more effective than the old policy. This is a time that is going to make American policymakers very nervous, however, because they are not keen on experimentation in this area, and they are particularly not keen on any approach that eliminates the military element from this policy," she said.

ANI

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