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ISAF resisting Islamabad's pressure to act against Pak Taliban in eastern Afghanistan

Islamabad, Fri, 09 Sep 2011 ANI

Islamabad, Sept 9(ANI): The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan is resisting Islamabad's pressure for a big push against terrorists in eastern Afghan provinces, where most of the Pakistani Taliban have set up sanctuaries, according to a newspaper report.


The ISAF command had earlier announced that it would expand its operations eastwards to regions it had vacated a year ago, including Kunar and Nooristan, for interdicting insurgent operations along the Pak-Afghan border, but it is reluctant to launch another major operation, the Dawn reports.


ISAF Commander General John Allen, who was on his first visit to Pakistan on Wednesday after taking over the coalition command in Afghanistan, had to face protests by Pakistani generals upset over the ease with which the Pakistani Taliban launched attacks in Pakistan's border areas from their sanctuaries in Kunar and Nooristan, the paper said.


General Allen was categorically told that it was the responsibility of the ISAF and the Afghan National Army to prevent future incursions, the paper quoted, a source, as saying.


The Pakistani military has avoided threatening hot pursuit of raiding militants, however, General Allen was told that further attacks would not be tolerated, the paper said.


In the past, Pakistani forces hit back at fleeing militants by firing rockets that strayed across the border, enraging Afghans, the paper said, adding that the strategy was later changed and the use of "excessive force was avoided to prevent civilian casualties on Afghan side".


Military officials, however, suggest that the changed policy might be reversed if the ISAF and the Afghan Army did not act against Pakistani Taliban sanctuaries in Afghanistan. (ANI)


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