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US sees Pakistan ’strategic shift’ in war on Taliban

US sees Pakistan ’strategic shift’ in war on Taliban
AFP
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First Published: Sat, Feb 27 2010. 01 00 AM IST
Updated: Sat, Feb 27 2010. 01 00 AM IST
Washington: “The US has seen a “strategic shift” by Pakistan in the past months during its fight against Taliban militants,” a senior US official said today.
Under US pressure, Pakistan is waging multiple military offensives against Islamist militant havens. Washington brands the country’s northwest tribal belt as the most dangerous place in the world and the chief sanctuary of Al-Qaeda.
“In the last nine months we’ve seen a significant strategic shift in Pakistan,” a senior administration official said.
“That strategic shift is the decision by the Pakistani security forces to take the fight against the Pakistani Taliban.”
He highlighted the situation in the Swat valley in the northwest tribal areas of Pakistan, which have served as a rear base for Afghan Taliban militants.
“If you go to Swat today, there are two Pakistani (army) divisions. They’re doing classic counterinsurgency,” the officer said.
Another senior US official told reporters that recent arrests of Afghan Taliban members and leaders in Pakistan was a clear signal of the close cooperation taking place on the ground.
“There have been a number of commanders as well as leaders taken off the battlefield in the last several months,” the official said
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First Published: Sat, Feb 27 2010. 01 00 AM IST