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US likely to push Pakistan for harder action against militants

world Updated: May 05, 2010 15:05 IST
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United States is likely to push Pakistan for harder action against dreaded outfits likes LeT, Taliban, al-Qaeda and Haqqani network, fearing that these groups are aiming to spread their terror footprints to the country.

The pressure to take decisive action to uproot these groups is growing in aftermath of the botched Times Square bombing where the suspect was found to have got his explosives handling training in terror camps in Taliban-stronghold of Waziristan bordering Afghanistan.

There is a widespread change in public mood and perception after the latest failed terror plot, US media said.

The rise in public ire, The Washington Post said, would be hard for the Obama administration to ignore and this apparently was evident at a series of media briefings held here by top officials and lawmakers on the botched plot where the inability of Pakistan to rein in militants and uproot terrorists camp were vigorously questioned.

Officials, politicians and lawmakers were bombarded with questions of how footprints of all major terrorist plots unearthed in the US recent months had been traced to Pakistan's tribal areas.

The Washington Post said the latest revelation that the Times Square bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad was trained in the Waziristan area of Pakistan is likely to prompt US officials to lean on Pakistan to deepen its fight against Islamist extremists.

Pressure is likely to be piled up for undertaking a major offensive into North Waziristan, which US intelligence believes is a hotbed of militants of al-Qaeda, Haqqani network and Pakistani Taliban, the paper said.

"Pakistan has resisted US pressure to take on insurgents in North Waziristan or in Punjab province, an area that is at the heart of Pakistan but is also the base of militant groups such as Lashkar-i-Taiba, suspected in the 2008 attacks in Mumbai," The Post said.

The issue is also expected to dominate the Thursday's White House situation room meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan convened by US President Barack Obama with his top national security team.

In a statement, Obama said the American people "can be assured that the FBI and their partners in this process have all the tools and experience they need to learn everything we can. That includes what, if any, connection this individual has to terrorist groups. And it includes collecting critical intelligence as we work to disrupt any future attacks."

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