US' "blunt" warning to Pak: Hit Taliban, Qaeda now, or we will be forced to do so

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Washington, Dec.8 (ANI): The United States, in a clear message to Pakistan, has asked the troubled nation to take more action against the Taliban and other extremist groups based inside its boundaries, failing which would force Washington to use more force in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

Officials said the 'blunt' message was delivered to the Pakistani leadership days before President Obama announced his new AFPAK policy.

"The message did not amount to an ultimatum, but rather it was intended to prod a reluctant Pakistani military to go after Taliban insurgents in Pakistan who are directing attacks in Afghanistan," The New York Times quoted US officials, as saying.

It may be noted that US National Security Adviser General James Jones and John Brennan, the White House Counterterrorism chief had met the Pakistani military and intelligence chief's just days before the revamped Afghan policy was announced.

It is believed that the United States is prepared to take independent action to expand the missile strikes by unmanned Predator aircrafts beyond the lawless tribal regions, and it would also not hesitate to conduct raids by Special Operations forces against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda leadership present inside Pakistan.

A Pakistani official, who was also present in the meetings with top US officials, said: "Jones's message was if that Pakistani help wasn't forthcoming, the United States would have to do it themselves."

The Obama administration has been pushing Islamabad to take more stringent measures against the terror groups operating from the terror safe havens based inside Pakistan, but the message has hardly seen any change in the country's stance.

"We've offered them a strategic choice. And we've heard back almost nothing," said one administration official.

"Our patience is wearing thin," added another.

The Obama administration has also backed the CIA's plans to expand the drone attacks in insurgency hit Balochistan, but Pakistani officials are apprehensive that such a move could lead to more civilian casualties and therefore would add fuel to the massive anti-US sentiments in the region.

Pakistani officials are also concerned that more aggressive moves by the military would further increase their problems, as the extremists would respond with a series of bombings in the cities, which would further weaken the country's frail civilian regime. (ANI)

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