Obama warns of any means to fight terror in Pakistan
Frustrated over Islamabad's indifference towards terror organisations such as al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba, President Barack Obama has warned that the United States may be impelled to use any means at its disposal to rout insurgents based along Pak-Afghan border, if Pakistan cannot deliver.
In his letter to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, Obama called for Islamabad's closer collaboration against all extremist groups, including al-Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Pakistani Taliban organization known as Tehrik-e-Taliban, and warned that its use of insurgent groups to pursue policy goals "cannot continue."
Obama's letter to Zardari, delivered through national security adviser Gen James L Jones, also included an offer to help reduce tensions between Pakistan and India.
During his Islamabad visit, Jones told Pakistani officials that no matter how many more troops the Obama sends to Afghanistan, the effort would fail unless Pakistan increases strikes against not only al-Qaeda's leadership but also Mullah Muhammad Omar and the leadership of the Afghan Taliban.
Meanwhile, senior US officials cautioned that moves to put too many demands before Islamabad may backfire.
"We agree that no matter how many troops you send, if the safe haven in Pakistan isn't cracked, the whole mission is compromised. But if you make too many demands on the Pakistanis in public, it can backfire," The New York Times quoted the official, as saying.
Pointing out the complexity of the US-Pakistan relationship, another Obama administration official said that no success could be hoped against the Taliban unless the nature of the relationship with Islamabad is changed.
"Everyone understands this is a complex, nuanced, critical relationship. Everyone has their eyes open, and there are genuine concerns. But one focus now is on trying to expand cooperation," he said.
"The long-term consequences of failure there (in Pakistan) far outweigh those in Afghanistan. We can't succeed without Pakistan," he added.