Washington, May 21 : Expressing its concerns against the recent peace pact signed between the Pakistan Government and the pro-Taliban militants, the US has reportedly warned Islamabad that the deal might allow the tribal extremists to plot attacks in Pakistan and abroad.
Speaking at a US Congressional hearing last evening, US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte voiced the US government's misgivings about the possibility of Pakistan striking agreements with tribal militants. "Are we concerned about the possibility of negotiations between the government or elements of the government and these extremist groups up there ... yes," Negroponte said.
"I hope that they proceed cautiously and not accept an outcome that would give extremist elements the right, or the ability, to use the FATA area with impunity to carry out attacks on Pakistan and carry out attacks on Afghanistan or the United States or the rest of the world," The News quoted Negroponte as saying.
He added: "There is a lot at stake here and we have made that point repeatedly. Some Pakistanis believe it is worth trying negotiations before one has to resort to more vigorous security measures. I think the response to that is that approach was tried before ... and it turned out not to work."
The Bush administration is worried that such an agreement, if pursued by Pakistan's newly elected government, would give the militants a free hand in Pakistan's tribal areas which have long operated outside the central government's full control, the paper said and added that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden masterminded the 9/11 attacks from Afghanistan, where he was sheltered by the Taliban regime, and he is believed to be hiding somewhere along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
Al Qaeda members as well as Taliban militants are believed to have taken refuge in North and South Waziristan - part of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) - after US-led forces ousted the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.