Obama warns Pakistan that he will respond this time: Book

Barack Obama warned to respond if they do not take decisive action against terrorist safe havens.

Updated: Sep 28, 2010, 20:54 PM IST

Washington: Frustrated over Pakistan`s
lackluster response to the war against terrorism, US President
Barack Obama, sent his top aides to warn Pakistan that he
would have no other option but to respond, if they do not take
decisive action against terrorist safe havens.

Adding to the frustration, the Pakistani establishment
in particular the all powerful Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez
Kayani refused to adhere to any of the four demands the US
made through National Security Adviser Gen James Jones and CIA
chief Leon Panetta during that trip in May this year, says
noted investigative journalist Bob Woodward, in his latest
book, "Obama`s War".

"The President wants everyone in Pakistan to
understand if such an attack connected to a Pakistani group is
successful there are some things even he would not be able to
stop. Just there are political realities in Pakistan, there
are realities in the United States.

No one will be able to stop the response and
consequences. There is not a threat, just a statement of
political fact," Zardai was told during the meeting, the book
claims.

Giving a series of specific instances how terrorists`
leaders are operating unhindered inside Pakistan, Jones told
Zardari that Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the LeT commander if the
2008 Mumbai attacks, is not being adequately interrogated and
"he continues to direct LeT operations from his detention
center."

LeT is operating in Afghanistan and the group carried
out a recent attack at a guesthouse there. Intelligence also
shows that LeT is threatening attacks in the United States and
the possibility is rising each day, Jones said according to
the book.

After meeting Zardari, US officials met Kayani,
wherein Jones told the Pakistan Army Chief that the clock was
starting now all the four requests made by Obama.

"But Kayani would not budge very much. He had other
concerns. "I`ll be the first to admit, I`m India centric," he
said, according to the book.

Woodward wrote that Jones and Panetta left feeling
they had made only baby steps.

"How can you fight a war and safe havens across the
border? Panetta asked in frustration. The latest intelligence
showed trucks crossing the border that were full of Taliban
combatants with all kinds of weapons packed in the back. They
were being waved through into Afghanistan to kill Americans at
checkpoints controlled by the Pakistanis.

"It`s a crazy kind of war," Panetta said.
According to the ward winning author, Pakistan has
repeatedly refused to accept US request to share names of all
airline passengers travelling to or from Pakistan on the
grounds that such a disclosure would violate their
sovereignty.

They also suspected it would give the US insight into
where their intelligence officers were going. Most ISI agents
were flying east to India or Bangladesh, so the US had
proposed just getting data on flights heading west to the
Persian Gulf, Europe and the United States. But the
Pakistanis has stubbornly resisted," Woodward wrote.

In the event of a terrorist attack, the Obama official
worried that it would be hard for Obama to defend Pakistan
because their leaders had refused to do what had been simple
easy, especially on the visas and passengers lists, he wrote.

PTI