Pak dismisses NYT report on expansion of US strikes beyond tribal areas as 'speculative'

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Islamabad, Mar.18 (ANI): Pakistan has rebuked media reports which claimed that the United States was planning to expand its military operation beyond the ungoverned tribal areas of Pakistan, particularly in Baluchistan, where top Taliban operatives are reportedly hiding and initiating attacks on the allied forces in the southern Afghanistan.

"We have seen the report. It appears to be speculative and we cannot comment on speculations," The News quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit, as saying.

Earlier, a report in The New York Times, said that two of the high-level reports on Pakistan and Afghanistan that have been forwarded to the White House recently, have asked for broadening the target area to reach the Taliban and other insurgent groups to a major sanctuary in and around Quetta.

However, the Obama administration refused to divulge details about the widening of the American 'covert' war in the region.

"We're still working hard to finalize the review on Afghanistan and Pakistan that the president requested," spokesperson for the National Security Council, Mike Hammer said.

"It is fair to say that there is wide agreement to sustain and continue these covert programs. One of the foundations on which the recommendations to the president will be based is that we've got to sustain the disruption of the safe havens," another senior US official added. (ANI)

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