Pak must continue action against Taliban: US

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Richard Holbrooke
New York, Aug 19: The United States is pushing Pakistan to continue operation against Taliban in the wake of reported death of the Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.

However, senior American administration officials believe that Islamabad is still caught between a 'clear' and 'hold' situation when it comes to Swat and Waziristan.

According to them the Pakistan Army sees the operation against the Taliban in Swat and Waziristan as a 'surgical strike' following which they can again shift focus towards its arch rival India.

"The perception in the Pakistani military is that this is a surgical strike. They go and clear out Swat and Waziristan and then they can go back to fighting the Indians," officials said.

They said US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, during his meeting on Tuesday, Aug 18 asked Islamabad to 'push on' against the extremists based inside the country.

"The purpose of my meeting today was to express our support and appreciation of Pakistan-US military cooperation. Second, in particular I wanted to say how impressed we are with the speed with which refugees have been able to return to their homes in Swat. And third, I wanted to encourage greater cooperation going forward," Holbrooke said.

According to the New York Times, the leader of American and NATO combat operations in Afghanistan, General Stanley A McChrystal, who arrived in Pakistan on Monday, Aug 17 also asked General Kayani to continue action against the Taliban and other extremist groups.

ANI

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