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Pak raids to be expanded

world Updated: Dec 21, 2010 18:10 IST
PTI
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Dissatisfied with the inadequate efforts from Pakistan to root out militants from inside its territory, the US is pushing for an expanded campaign of ground raids across the border inside the country.

"The proposal, described by American officials in Washington and Afghanistan, would escalate military activities inside Pakistan, where the movement of American forces has been largely prohibited because of fears of provoking a backlash," The New York Times said in a report on Monday.

It was quick to add though that the plan has not been approved and is still under consideration.

Top US military officers, The Times said, are now convinced that there needs to be a shift in its policy about forays across the border, knowing very well that the half a dozen such attempts so far have infuriated Pakistani officials.

US President Barack Obama, announcing the result of the annual review of his Af-Pak policy, had clearly said that Pakistan needs to do more in the war against terrorism especially against the safe havens inside the country.

"It would run the risk of angering a Pakistani government that has been an uneasy ally in the war in Afghanistan, particularly if it leads to civilian casualties or highly public confrontations," the report said.

"We've never been as close as we are now to getting the go-ahead to go across," a senior official was quoted as saying by the daily.

However, it also reported that there was no unanimous view point on this issue in the administration so far.

"In interviews in Washington and Kabul, American officials said that officers were drawing up plans to begin ground operations to capture or kill leaders from the Taliban and the Haqqani network," the Times said.

US officers are particularly eager to capture, as opposed to kill, militant leaders, who they say can offer intelligence to guide future operations, it added.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has already stepped up the drone attacks inside Pakistan, which is being vehemently opposed by Islamabad in the open.

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