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US gets more active against Pakistan based Taleban

For quite some time now, the United States has come to the realization that Pakistan is not going to take decisive steps to root out the fast strengthening elements of the Taleban and Al-Qaeda in the border regions of Pakistan. These elements get the space in these border regions to regroup from clashes with the NATO and Afghan forces in Afghanistan, get the attention (including medical attention) that they need, and then head back into Afghanistan to battle again. In addition, these regions are also attracting fighters from a varied groups such as Arab fighters, Uzbek, Chechen (and many others, all of whom see this battle as a fight against the infidel enemy (the US) and its supporters (the Afghan army, and the administration). The US took a long time to figure out as to why Pakistan has been not willing to carry out the public promises made in 2001 and 2002 to turn fully against the elements of the Taleban and Al-Qaeda, but understanding is finally on the way. (For a good article on this, refer to this article; a fairly longish article, but one that is questioning the extent to which the Pakistani Taleban is taking over the country, and the support they are getting from Pakistani forces).
Pakistan has for a long time seen Afghanistan as being a strategic zone of influence, and highly resents influence of other countries such as the US and India (more so India) in Afghanistan. However, it is now facing a situation where its own created monster is acting against it, trying to convert Pakistan into an extremist Islamist ruled country. Its army and paramilitaries are also getting under the same influence, and not so much in favor of acting against these terrorist on the say of the US. In response, for the last few months, the US has been reading the riot act to the Pakistanis at different levels, both in public and in private (meetings with Musharraf, with the spy agencies, and with the army chief). However, it now seems that the US has finally decided to take matters into its own hands and started to act against the terrorists wherever they can find them. The last few days have seen many attacks by drones and by actual soldiers inside Pakistani territory:

Five missiles fired from an American pilotless aircraft on Monday hit a large compound in North Waziristan belonging to one of Pakistan’s most prominent Taliban leaders, two Pakistani intelligence officials and a local resident said. The strike hit the compound run by Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, whom the United States has accused of organizing some of the most serious recent attacks in Afghanistan against American and NATO forces and of masterminding a failed assassination attempt against the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai. According to American officials, the two Haqqanis protect forces from Al Qaeda in their enclaves in North and South Waziristan, provide logistics and intelligence for Qaeda operatives, and act as a bridge between the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, who share the common mission of driving American and NATO troops from Afghanistan.
The attack was carried out less than a week after the first publicly acknowledged ground operation by American Special Operations forces against Taliban operating inside Pakistan. The commandos struck at militants in a village in South Waziristan on Wednesday at the start of what American commanders said was likely to be a more sustained campaign against the Taliban operating in Pakistan’s tribal region. The attack on Monday was the third American missile strike on Taliban targets in North and South Waziristan since the ground attack on Wednesday.

Pakistani spokespersons have expectedly condemned the strike and vowed of retaliation for some of the attacks (most noticeably for the ground attacks). However, it seems that a large section of the press believes that this protest is for public consumption and that Pakistan has accepted that there will be more such strikes. For a country that has received a large amount of aid from the US, US influence can be very hard and difficult to oppose. At the same time, such strikes will have the effect of making more Pakistanis react negatively and more in favor of the terrorists, making the task of the Pakistani Government all the more difficult.

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