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NATO, Pakistan sharing tactical plans: US official

NATO commanders in Afghanistan have begun traveling to Pakistan to share plans for military operations for the first time, a senior US official has said.

world Updated: Feb 27, 2010 16:42 IST

NATO commanders in Afghanistan have begun traveling to Pakistan to share plans for military operations for the first time, a senior US official has said.

The apparent aim is to make sure that militants don't slip back and forth the unmarked, mountainous border region to escape coalition or Pakistani forces.

According to the official, who briefed reporters on condition that he not be named, the sharing of tactical information represents a new level of cooperation for the military forces battling the Taliban, al Qaeda and other militants.

"That has not happened before," the official said.

The US official also said the capture of about 15 senior and mid-level Taliban figures in Pakistan in recent weeks, coupled with those killed in suspected CIA missile strikes, has raised pressure on the militants.

The official said Taliban leaders can no longer be certain of finding "safe haven" in Pakistan after battling coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Missiles launched from US drones have reportedly killed dozens of militants in Pakistan in recent months, but American officials do not confirm the existence of the covert CIA programme.

The official praised the recent captures, which included Taliban's No 2 leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. Baradar, the operational leader for the faction's war against coalition forces in Afghanistan, has been portrayed by both US, Pakistani and Afghan officials as a major blow to the Taliban.