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Pak warns of fallout as US seeks to extend drone strike: report

As the US administration seeks to expand its highly successful drone strikes to Quetta, where many of the high-profile terrorists are said to be hiding, Pakistani authorities warned of severe fallout, a news report said on Monday.

world Updated: Dec 14, 2009 22:57 IST

As the US administration seeks to expand its highly successful drone strikes to Quetta, where many of the high-profile terrorists are said to be hiding, Pakistani authorities warned of severe fallout, a news report said on Monday.

"The prospect of Predator aircraft strikes in Quetta, a sprawling city, signals a new US resolve to decapitate the Taliban. But it also risks rupturing Washington's relationship with Islamabad," the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.

The US daily said the American officials are pushing to expand the drone strikes to Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, to put pressure on the government to pursue Taliban leaders based in the city. The US daily said American officials believe it is essential to push Pakistanis to take more serious actions against those using its territory as its sanctuary.

"What the Pakistanis have to do is tell the Taliban that there is too much pressure from the US; we can't allow you to have sanctuary inside Pakistan anymore," an unnamed US official was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

However, there are other in the administration who are more skeptical of such a move.

The warning has come from Pakistan too.

"We are not a banana republic," a senior Pakistani official involved in discussions of security issues with the Obama administration was quoted as saying.

If the US follows through, the official said, "this might be the end of the road."