America's top military officer to "read the riot act" to Pakistan

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Washington, July 12 : America's top military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, will be in Pakistan some time this month to "read the riot act" to the government and express Washington's frustration with Islamabad's lack of ability or willingness, or both, to act decisively against terrorist groups operating from tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen told reporters in Kabul that the Pakistan Government needed to crack down on insurgent safe havens in the Tribal Areas as more foreign fighters, including al Qaeda, were operating along the Pak-Afghan border.

A well-informed source, when asked if US patience with what it sees as Pakistani "flip-flop and procrastination" is running out, said: "It is very close to that."

"When it does, the world will see unilateral US military action, covert and overt, in the Tribal Areas. Actionable intelligence, when received, will be acted upon immediately, with or without Pakistan," the source added.

America's frustration is compounded by its inability to perceive who is "calling the shots" in Islamabad, the Daily Times reported.

The US wants an effective government in the country and would prefer to have Pakistan People's Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari return to Dubai; the governing coalition reinstated with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz back in cabinet; the judges' issue resolved; and a workable relationship established with the army high command.

But more than anything, the US wants Pakistan to decide whose side its on. The Bush Administration believes that the present state of drift, with selective peace deals and continuing terrorism, is helping nobody.

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