Washington, May 18 (ANI): President Barack Obama is likely to send two of his senior most national security aides to Pakistan this week to pressurise the Yousuf Raza Gilani government to investigate the botched Times Square bombing plot and more importantly prevent any such similar terror schemes against the US.
According to sources in the Obama Administration, Central Investigation Agency (CIA) director Leon Panetta and National Security Advisor General James Jones are likely to arrive in Islamabad on Tuesday (today, May 18).
This would be first such visit of top US officials to Pakistan since the bungled terror plot.
The top level American officials would prod Pakistan to take tougher steps against the Taliban and other insurgent groups, and would convey the risks regarding Pakistan's relationship with the US if a deadly terrorist attack originated in that country, The New York Times reported.
"In light of the failed Times Square terrorist attack and other terrorist attacks that trace to the border region, we believe that it is time to redouble our efforts with our allies in Pakistan to close this safe haven and create an environment where we and the Pakistani people can lead safe and productive lives," National Security Council spokesman Michael Hammer said.
One of the prime concerns for the US officials, which is likely to be discussed at length during their Islamabad visit, is the growing interconnection between Islamic extremist groups flourishing in Pakistan's volatile tribal regions.
Soon after the May 1 failed bombing plot, Pakistani authorities detained a man named Muhammed Rehan from a mosque in Karachi, which is known for its links with the banned terror group Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM).
"Shahzad was able to connect with people (Rehan) in Pakistan who travelled with him to North Waziristan and back. How he did that without the Pakistani intelligence service knowing about it is a worry," the newspaper quoted another American official privy to the probe, as saying. (ANI)