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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Panetta Urges Action Against N. Waziristan Militants

ISLAMABAD, Sept 29: CIA chief Leon Panetta arrived here on Wednesday on a two-day visit to push the Pakistani leadership to overcome its reluctance to attack militant sanctuaries in North Waziristan.

Mr Panetta met his counterpart (ISI chief) Lt-Gen Shuja Pasha. He will also be calling on other military and civilian leaders.

Military officials refused to discuss the Pasha-Panetta meeting and only said that the two had been regularly interacting to coordinate anti-terror operations against Al Qaeda, Taliban and their allied groups.

During his last visit to Islamabad in May, the CIA chief had secured a commitment from Pakistani leaders to launch a military operation against Taliban militants in North Waziristan.

This time around, sources say, Mr Panetta will push for a clear timetable for the operation. He is said to be armed with intelligence reports that insurgents based in North Waziristan are planning simultaneous Mumbai-like attacks in UK, France and Germany.

Washington is still trying to find out if the plot targets the US.

Sources say that another subject of the CIA chief’s discussions here would be the political instability in Pakistan and the military’s engagement with flood relief activities because of concerns in Washington that the two developments were hurting the military’s anti-terror efforts.

From here.

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