Pakistan demands U.S. share Afghan blueprint

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.

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.

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.

Just Posted

Schizophrenia a misunderstood illness, an Alberta expert says

Schizophrenia Society of Alberta campaign kickoff features TSN’s Michael Landsberg in Central Alberta

WATCH: Collecting coats and donations from drivers in Red Deer

Central Albertans made donations to keep children warm and neighbourhoods safe from… Continue reading

PHOTO: Fall Harvest Festival in Red Deer’s West Park

The West Park Community Association hosted the Fall Harvest Festival near West… Continue reading

Man dies in Hwy 2 collision near Ponoka

A 46-year-old man is dead following a three-vehicle collision on Hwy 2… Continue reading

Canyon Ski Resort aiming to open Nov. 10

The finishing touches are being put on Canyon Ski Resort trails just… Continue reading

WATCH: Blackfalds Fire teaches families about fire safety

An open house was held Saturday in support of Fire Prevention Week

Five things about what’s legal and what’s not in Canada’s new pot law

OTTAWA — Canada’s new law legalizing recreational cannabis goes into force on… Continue reading

4 men killed in shooting at child’s birthday party in Texas

DALLAS — An argument at a toddler’s birthday party in South Texas… Continue reading

German bus crashes on Swiss highway, 1 dead and 14 injured

BERLIN — A German bus crashed into a metal post on a… Continue reading

4 days after storm, large swath of Panhandle suffering

MEXICO BEACH, Fla. — Crews with backhoes and other heavy equipment scooped… Continue reading

Immigrants face hurdles to prove abuse by US agents

HOUSTON — Within hours of being booked at a Border Patrol station… Continue reading

Unicorns and pipelines: Notley and enviro-activist square off on Trans Mountain

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, with her arch pipeline foe sitting… Continue reading

A year into #MeToo, survivors’ stories resonate online and off: experts

Jenny Wright remembers scrolling through her social media feed a year ago… Continue reading

Emergency buzzer had been disabled in young man’s prison death: report

HALIFAX — An emergency intercom in the jail unit of a young… Continue reading

Most Read