The United States has stepped up pressure on Pakistan to expand its fight against Taliban and al-Qaida militants, warning that the success of its new Afghanistan strategy depends on it, The New York Times reported yesterday.
President Barack Obama is expected to announce in the coming weeks plans to send up to 40,000 more troops to fight in the 8-year-old war.
In a letter to Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, Obama said he expects him to rally the nation’s political and national security institutions in a united campaign against extremists.
Obama offered the Pakistanis a range of new incentives for their cooperation, including enhanced intelligence-sharing and military cooperation.
Obama’s national security adviser Gen. James Jones reportedly handed over the letter during a trip to meet with Pakistani government and military leaders in Islamabad on Friday.
Jones also warned Pakistani officials that Washington’s new Afghanistan strategy would work only if Pakistan broadens its fight beyond the militants attacking its cities to groups using havens in Pakistan for plotting attacks against U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the Times said, citing American officials briefed on the confidential talks.