US ultimatum to Pakistan; July deadline

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New Delhi, Jun 2: With the relationship between the United States and Pakistan going through some turbulent weather post the Abbottabad-operation, the US seems to have made its intentions clear and is focused on wiping out terrorism emanating from Pak soil. The US has given Pakistan time till July to capture five of the most dreaded al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists.

The five terrorists include al-Zawahiri, Mullah Omar, Illyas Kashmiri, Sirajuddin Haqqani and Atia Abdur Rehman. The Pakistani security forces have been asked to either resort to a unilateral or joint military action in nabbing them.

The month of July holds significance since the same month will see NATO and its allies withdrawing forces from the troubled Afghanistan. Agencies quoted local newspaper, The News and stated that the US ultimatum led to anxiety within the Pak civil and military circles. The angst is evident as Pakistan has been avoiding a military offensive in the North Waziristan area in spite of repeated US requests to do so.

The Dawn newspaper, quoting military officials claimed that the military operation is most unlikely to focus on the Haqqani network. It also added that Pakistan might succumb to US pressure and launch an offensive of a limited nature in North Waziristan. Another report in the local media quoted that the campaign would exclusively target al-Qaeda, Taliban and foreign fighters. The source however refused to reveal the time of the operation.

The Haqqani network has been credited for cross-border attacks on foreign troops in Afghanistan and has its base in North Waziristan.

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