Pakistan drone attacks to intensify, Obama officials say
On Tuesday, Pakistani leaders reportedly rebuked visiting US officials over the airstrikes, which have prompted violent responses from militants.
(Page 2 of 2)
Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, vowed last week to carry out two strikes a week inside Pakistan as retaliation against the drone attacks, and even threatened an attack on Washington if those attacks continue, reports the Associated Press.Skip to next paragraph
Israeli general hints at another Gaza campaign
Unclaimed attack on Islamic school raises tension in Nigeria
See no evil? Activists doubt credibility of Arab League mission to Syria.
Arab League observers head to Syria's war-ravaged Homs
Christmas church bombings put global spotlight on 'Nigerian Taliban' (VIDEO)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
"Soon we will launch an attack in Washington that will amaze everyone in the world," Mehsud said in a phone interview, without providing details.
The Taliban are not the only ones who are upset. Pakistani officials reportedly rebuked US special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen as the officials made a visit to Pakistan this week, according to Dawn. The Pakistani officials rejected a US proposal for joint military operations against the militants, according to the newspaper, and criticized the drone attacks.
The sources said the US officials were also told that continuing drone attacks inside Pakistan's territory were counter-productive and they were asked to shift the drone technology and authority to the Pakistan Army.
The sources said that army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, during his meeting with Mr Holbrooke and Admiral Mullen, also took a tough stance over drone attacks. He voiced serious concern over the tirade of allegations against Inter-Services Intelligence levelled by US generals and said that linking the ISI with the Taliban was inappropriate.
Agence France-Presse points out that the official visit is the "first since President Barack Obama last month unveiled a new strategy for Afghanistan, drawn up after a two-month assessment of flagging efforts to subdue an extremist insurgency and stabilise the turbulent country."
Obama's NATO allies backed his Afghan war plan at a summit on Saturday, also pledging up to 5,000 more troops to add to 21,000 US soldiers the US leader said he would send to Afghanistan.
Despite the tough talk from Islamabad, senior US officials said Monday that the US intended to step up its use of drones to strike militants in Pakistan's tribal areas and might extend them to a different sanctuary deeper inside the country, reports The New York Times.
Officials are also proposing to broaden the missile strikes to Baluchistan, south of the tribal areas, unless Pakistan manages to reduce the incursion of militants there....
American officials say the missile strikes have forced some Taliban and Qaeda leaders to flee south toward Quetta, a city in the province of Baluchistan, which abuts the parts of southern Afghanistan where recent fighting has been the fiercest.