US seeks to expand its raids inside Pakistan: Report

Dissatisfied with the inadequate efforts from Pakistan to root out militants from inside its territory, the US is pushing for an expanded campaign of ground raids across the border inside the country.

Updated: Dec 21, 2010, 10:45 AM IST

Washington: Dissatisfied with the inadequate efforts from Pakistan to root out militants from inside its territory, the US is pushing for an expanded campaign of ground raids across the border inside the country.

"The proposal, described by American officials in
Washington and Afghanistan, would escalate military activities
inside Pakistan, where the movement of American forces has
been largely prohibited because of fears of provoking a
backlash," The New York Times said in a report yesterday.

It was quick to add though that the plan has not been
approved and is still under consideration.

Top US military officers, the Times said, are now
convinced that there needs to be a shift in its policy about
forays across the border, knowing very well that the half a
dozen such attempts so far have infuriated Pakistani
officials.

US President Barack Obama, announcing the result
of the annual review of his Af-Pak policy, had clearly said
that Pakistan needs to do more in the war against terrorism
especially against the safe havens inside the country.

"It would run the risk of angering a Pakistani
government that has been an uneasy ally in the war in
Afghanistan, particularly if it leads to civilian casualties
or highly public confrontations," the report said.

"We`ve never been as close as we are now to getting the go-ahead to go across," a senior official was quoted as saying by the daily.
However, it also reported that there was no unanimous
view point on this issue in the administration so far.

"In interviews in Washington and Kabul, American
officials said that officers were drawing up plans to begin
ground operations to capture or kill leaders from the Taliban
and the Haqqani network," the Times said.
US officers are particularly eager to capture, as
opposed to kill, militant leaders, who they say can offer
intelligence to guide future operations, it added.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has already
stepped up the drone attacks inside Pakistan, which is being
vehemently opposed by Islamabad in the open.

PTI