Times Square probe to top US NSA`s talks in Pakistan

US has rushed two top security officials to Pakistan to press the govt to intensify efforts to investigate the failed Times Square bomb plot.

Updated: May 19, 2010, 11:12 AM IST

New York/Washington: US has rushed two
top security officials to Pakistan to press the government to
intensify efforts to investigate the failed Times Square bomb
plot and convey the risks to the country`s relationship with
the US if a terrorist attack originated there.

National Security Adviser James L Jones and CIA chief
Leon E Panetta are likely to land in Pakistan today, in the
highest-level American visit to Pakistan since the May 1
failed bombing.

Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad, 30, has been
arrested by the federal authorities on charges of plotting the
bomb at the Times Square on May 1. The US has said the
investigations implicate the Pakistani Taliban in the attack.

General Jones "would not threaten the Pakistanis, but
would convey the risks to the country`s relationship with the
United States if a deadly terrorist attack originated there",
a senior Obama Administration official was quoted as saying by
the New York Times.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had also warned
Pakistan of "serious consequences" if a terrorist attack
originated there.

Jones plans to prod them to take tougher steps against
the Taliban and other insurgent groups, the official noted.
Panetta and Jones would meet President Asif Ali
Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Army Chief Gen
Ashfaq Kayani and ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha during
their visit.

"In light of the failed Times Square terrorist attack
and other terrorist attacks that trace to the border region,
we believe that it is time to redouble our efforts with our
allies in Pakistan to close this safe haven and create an
environment where we and the Pakistani people can lead safe
and productive lives," National Security Council spokesman
Mike Hammer said in Washington.

At least three Pakistani nationals have also been
arrested in the US on charges of providing finances to
Shahzad, though it is yet to be known whether they knew where the money was being used.

Pakistani authorities too have made several arrests in
Karachi and other parts of the country in connection with the
Times Square plot.

The paper said the delegation may push Islamabad to
get into North Waziristan -- stronghold of the Pakistan
Taliban -- where Shahzad also claims to have trained.

So far, the Pakistani army has not entered the
dangerous border region but has been preoccupied in South
Waziristan and Swat.

PTI