Hard for US to avoid "inevitable pressure" to target Pak in case of new terror attack

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Washington, May 26 (ANI): The United States has given a blunt message to Pakistan that it would be under "inevitable pressure" to take immediate and stern action if a successful terror attack is traced back to that country, officials have said.

Officials privy to the recent meeting between President Obama's National Security Advisor James Jones,Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Leon Panetta and Pakistan's political and military leadership said that during the talks the top US officials told Islamabad in clear terms that it needed to intensify its crackdown in the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

"We have been lucky in the past, but our luck will run out and in the future, we are likely to face successful attacks," The Los Angeles Times quoted a senior U.S. intelligence official, as saying.

According to officials, both Jones and Panetta, during their Islamabad visit earlier this month, had told both the Pakistani civilian and military leadership that there was 'hard' evidence to prove that Faisal Shahzad, the confessed Times Square bomb plotter, received terror training by the TTP in the lawless tribal areas of the country along the Afghanistan border.

"The chart, which was assembled by U.S. intelligence agencies, showed who all he had contacts with, and drew clear links between Faisal Shahzad and the TTP leaders in Pakistan," officials said.

Jones and Panetta did not spell out possible action the U.S. might take, however, the delegation did not rule out military action, said an official privy to the meeting.

According to experts and officials, US' action would depend on the circumstances of an attack and the strength of the evidence implicating militants in Pakistan.

Former CIA official and a terrorism expert at the Brookings Institution, Bruce Riedel, said the pressure on the White House to act could be 'overwhelming.'

"Professions by the Pakistanis that they are trying hard won't cut it anymore," Riedel said. (ANI)

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