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US may expand strikes inside Pakistan

December 14, 2009 16:06 IST

Noting that it is terrorism that poses threat to Pakistan and not India, US President Barack Obama said on Monday that his administration would not hesitate from striking inside Pakistan if it had actionable intelligence against top Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders.

"I don't want to comment on certain sensitive aspects to our efforts in this border region. I think it is fair to say, number one, that my principle is if we've got actual war intelligence on high-ranking al-Qaeda leaders, or for those matter high-ranking Taliban leaders who are directing actions against US troops, then we will take action," Obama said.

"A lot of this border region is big and complicated. And even a city like Quetta is a big city. And, you know, we have to respect the sovereignty of Pakistan as we engage in potential actions that would involve going into a major metropolitan area with a lot of civilians around it. We expect Pakistan to cooperate more effectively in the future than they have in the past," Obama said in an interview to CBS news.

Obama said that ever since occupying the White House, his administration has been trying to convince Pakistan that it is terrorism and not India which poses a threat to it and thus impressing upon Islamabad to shift more troops from its eastern border with India to its western front. "We have had very detailed and serious conversations with the Pakistan government and the Pakistan military about the fact that their traditional orientation, which has been to compete with India, has now been overtaken by extremists within their own midst that are exploding bombs with impunity throughout Pakistan," he said.

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