Pakistan demands U.S. share Afghan blueprint

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan expressed fear Friday that a large increase in foreign troops in Afghanistan could push militants across the border into its territory and called on the U.S. to factor in that concern as part of its new war strategy.

Pakistani high-ranking officials attend funeral of police officers who were killed in Thursday's suicide attack in Peshawar

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan expressed fear Friday that a large increase in foreign troops in Afghanistan could push militants across the border into its territory and called on the U.S. to factor in that concern as part of its new war strategy.

Meanwhile, a suspected U.S. missile strike killed eight militants in northwestern Pakistan, officials said, the second attack this week in an area believed to hold many insurgents who fled from an army offensive elsewhere in the Afghan border region. American officials generally do not acknowledge the unpopular attacks.

The Pakistani concerns, raised by the prime minister during a meeting with visiting CIA director Leon Panetta, could pose another headache for President Barack Obama as he weighs military proposals to send 10,000 to 40,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan next year.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the United States must fully share its plans for Afghanistan with Pakistan so that it can contribute to them, according to a statement from his office.

Gilani also warned that more troops could push militants across the border.

The U.S. Embassy declined to comment on the CIA director’s visit to the country.

American security and government leaders have frequently visited Pakistan in recent weeks to urge it to do more against militants on its side of the border blamed for violence inside Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials have said in the past that they were worried that Obama’s original surge of 21,000 troops this summer would lead to more militants crossing over into the country, something that has not happened.

Also, U.S. plans to close remote posts near the border and instead focus on larger population centres in Afghanistan have sparked fears that militants will now find it easier to move between the two countries.

Pakistan’s government is under domestic pressure not to be seen simply taking orders from the United States and give the impression it has a say in any new Afghan policy.

As such, Gilani’s statement could have been as much directed at a local audience as to the Americans.

Pakistan’s army launched an offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan in mid-October — an effort welcomed by Washington. It has retaken many towns in the lawless region, but many militants are believed to have fled north to escape the fighting and have retaliated with deadly bombings and clashes.

Four Pakistani soldiers, including a captain, were killed Friday when militants ambushed their convoy in the North Waziristan area of Shawal, local intelligence officials said.

Two police officers also were killed and four others were wounded earlier Friday when a remote-controlled bomb destroyed their vehicle in Peshawar, said city police Chief Liaquat Ali Khan.

The attack occurred hours after a suicide bomber killed 19 people in the city, which is the main gateway to the al-Qaida and Taliban-inhabited border region.

Pakistani officials flagged the offensive in South Waziristan several months before it actually began, which critics say allowed the militants to escape and plan the current wave of terror.

A U.S. drone fired two missiles at a compound being used by suspected Taliban militants in a village near Mir Ali in North Waziristan, according to two intelligence officials.

The compound was destroyed and eight bodies and two wounded militants were pulled from the rubble, two other intelligence officials said, adding that Taliban militants were frequently seen at the targeted building.

The officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the information

Another suspected U.S. missile strike killed three militants and wounded four just after midnight Thursday in Shana Khuwara village in North Waziristan, officials said.

Anti-American sentiment is pervasive throughout Pakistan. The Pakistani government publicly condemns the U.S. strikes as violations of its sovereignty, but many analysts believe the two countries have a secret deal allowing them.

Obama, who has been criticized for taking so long to weigh the issue, has promised to announce his decision on Afghanistan over the next several weeks.

Pakistan helped nurture a generation of Islamic militants after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. Following the Soviet withdrawal a decade later, Pakistan helped the Taliban seize control. Many of these militants fled to Pakistan after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.

———

Associated Press writer Rasool Dawar in Mir Ali contributed to this report.

Just Posted

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

Red Deer-area dads going through divorce are invited to Man Up

Support group formed to focus on positive activities, networking

Pine Lake shooter loses conviction appeal

Cory Lavallee sentenced in 2016 to nine years in prison for attempted murder

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

B.C. man accused of swimming naked in Toronto shark tank arrested in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Police have arrested a B.C. man who is… Continue reading

Most Read