US may lean harder on Pak to fight Islamist extremists

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Islamabad, May 5 (ANI): The arrest of a Pakistani American in connection with the failed Times Square bombing has again put the spotlight on Pakistan as a global terrorist training hub.

According to the Washington Post, the close call in Times Square, is likely to prompt U.S. officials to lean on Pakistan to deepen its fight against Islamist extremists, particularly in the militant hotbed of North Waziristan.

The paper further reveals that Pakistan has chafed at past American exhortations to hit harder against militants on its soil, saying that it has paid a heavy price for its efforts against extremist groups-in terms of lives and money.

U.S. officials, seeking to improve relations, have more recently lavished praise on Pakistan for its military offensives in the tribal areas and arrests of top Afghan Taliban leaders.

Over the past year, Pakistan's military has challenged its homegrown militants with unprecedented force, and it has boosted its image by pushing the Taliban out of the Swat Valley and South Waziristan.

However, it has resisted U.S. pressure to take on insurgents in North Waziristan or in Punjab province, an area that is at the heart of Pakistan but is also the base of militant groups such as Lashkar-i-Taiba, suspected in the 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

"Somehow or another, there is always a Pakistani connection," an intelligence official said. (ANI)

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