Bush rejects expanding the war to Pakistani tribal areas

ISLAMABAD: Bush administration has snubbed a proposal of widening the war that could include American attacks on indigenous Pakistani militants in the tribal areas inside the country, reports a US based newspaper. Quoting some U.S. officials, the paper reported the requests had been rebuffed for now following internal Bush administration deliberations in which U.S. officials expressed concerns that attacks on Pakistani militants could foment anger within Pakistan’s new government, which has been negotiating with the armed men in tribal areas.

One Bush administration official said the Washington discussions involved President George W. Bush’s top national security aides. White House and State Department spokesmen declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for the U.S. ambassador in Pakistan, Anne Patterson, the newspaper said.

The report said that the U.S. proposals included possible limited cross-border artillery strikes into Pakistan, missile attacks by Predator aircraft or raids by small teams of CIA paramilitary forces or Special Operations forces. The newspaper reported that U.S. commanders preferred that Pakistani forces conduct such attacks, but that Pakistani military operations in the tribal areas had declined as negotiations with the militants played out.

U.S. officials in Afghanistan urging attacks in Pakistan had discussed possible targets with Patterson, the paper said. The report claimed that while Pakistan had given the CIA limited authority to kill Arab and other foreign operatives in tribal regions.

The paper claimed U.S. officials had not ruled out striking Pakistani militants in the tribal areas. It is pertinent to mention the report claims that US commanders in Afghanistan have in recent months urged a widening of the war that could include American attacks on indigenous Pakistani militants in the tribal areas inside Pakistan.-SANA

About the author

Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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