Holbrooke to warn Pak against terror strikes from its soil during Afghan polls

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Islamabad, Aug.16 (ANI) : Peace during the forthcoming Afghan elections and situations arising after the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud's death would be on top of US Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke's agenda, who arrived here on Saturday.

During his visit, Holbrooke would be meeting President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lieutenant General Shuja Pasha and several top officials.

Sources said Holbrooke is likely to stress on peace during the August 20 Afghan elections, and tell the Pakistani leadership to ensure that no major terror strike is carried out by extremists based on its soil during the polls.

Holbrooke's concern about Afghan elections increased manifold after reports suggested that militants are planning a massive operation to create trouble during next week's elections, and Saturday's suicide attack outside the NATO headquarters in Kabul in which seven persons were killed has fuelled the concern.

The Afghan elections are of much strategic importance for the United States, as it wants to create a favourable opinion about itself in the country regarding the 'war on terror'.

Diplomatic sources said Holbrooke would also like to extract a firm commitment from Pakistan for action in South Waziristan following Mehsud's reported death in a US drone strike.

According to them, Holbrooke considers the present scenario as a 'big deal' which has thrown Mehsud's men into disarray.

Holbrooke thinks Pakistan needs to act before the Taliban overcome the shock death of their chief and regroup, the Dawn quoted sources, as saying. (ANI)

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