'Pak military's "dual policy" on terrorist safe havens an open invite to US incursions'

Islamabad, Dec 23 (ANI): The Pakistan Army must understand the limits to which the country can push its "dual policy" on terror sanctuaries existing on its soil, because continuing with this policy may invite "great danger" ahead, an editorial in a Pakistani newspaper has said.

Referring to a US newspaper report that "senior American military commanders in Afghanistan are pushing for an expanded campaign of Special Operations ground raids across the border into Pakistan's tribal areas", and that "Afghan militias backed by the CIA have carried out a number of secret missions" in Pakistan's tribal areas, the Daily Times editorial said that Pakistan's military establishment should understand the gravity of the situation.

NATO's denial of these reports is "due to the political sensitivity involved," it said, adding that Pakistan is the "frontline ally of the US/NATO in the war on terror and the Americans want to keep us on their side rather than push us away."

"On the one hand the withdrawal date of foreign troops from Afghanistan is looming large and on the other hand, the frustration of military commanders is growing. Will they be held back by political considerations is a question worth pondering," it added.

The editorial drew attention to the huge outrage in Pakistan against the increase in CIA drone attacks on its soil, "which WikiLeaks has confirmed are with the tacit approval of Pakistan's government."

It was of the view that while the "political fallout of more clandestine operations can be seriously damaging," under present circumstances, "it cannot be ruled out that the Americans might opt for it if our military establishment keeps up its dual policy."

The editorial noted the response of Pakistan's Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, on the US newspaper report that US military commanders were seeking an expanded "ground raids" campaign in Pakistan, who ruled out ground operations and asserted that Pakistan's military was quite capable of handling the terrorists within its borders.

"Pakistani forces are capable of handling the militant threat within our borders, and no foreign forces are allowed or required to operate inside our sovereign territory," Haqqani had said.

The editorial questioned: "With all due respect to Ambassador Haqqani, our military is definitely capable of doing this, but does it really want to?"

"Our military establishment must understand the limits to which we can push this dual policy because great danger lies ahead now if we keep on with our misadventures," it added.

It was of the view that Pakistan is "already in enough trouble politically and economically. Terrorism has added to our woes and it seems like that in the coming days, more trouble may follow." (ANI)

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