Islamabad: A terror attack in the West that is traced back to Pakistan "could have devastating consequences" for the country, said an editorial in a leading Pakistani daily.
An editorial in the Dawn said US drones have been carrying out attacks in North Waziristan Agency, "the stamping ground of the Haqqani network, al Qaeda and sundry foreign militants".
"What is clear is that FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) generally and North Waziristan in particular continue to play host to foreign militants. The most well-known and numerous group consists of the Uzbeks, who attracted the ire of the Pakistani state because of their desire to attack it."
"Other western and European nationalities are also believed to be operating here from Turks to Germans. They do not consist just of men of Pakistani or Arab or other Muslim origin, but also of converts to Islam," the editorial said.
It pointed out that al Qaeda, which fights against both the Pakistani state and western nations, is also believed to be active in the region.
Expressing concern, the editorial said: "Pakistani state appears to have few ideas about how to tackle the menace of foreign militants. Enforcing a uniform, zero-tolerance policy towards foreign militants in FATA is difficult because local commanders and groups often make use of the services of foreigners and offer them protection in return."
It goes on to warn that "doing nothing is not an option: a strike in the West traced back to Pakistani territory could have devastating consequences for us".