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User Name: nrqazi
Full Name: Naeem Qazi
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WSJ: Clinton Warns Pakistan Of 'Very Big Price' For Supporting Taliban

9:29 AM Eastern Daylight Time Oct 20, 2011

   By Dion Nissenbaum and Tom Wright
  KABUL (Dow Jones)--U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered an unusually blunt message to Pakistan Thursday: Crack down on insurgent strongholds used to stage attacks into Afghanistan or pay a steep price.
  On the first day of an unannounced, high-stakes visit to Kabul and Islamabad, Clinton voiced America's rising impatience with Pakistan's reluctance to take action against the Afghan Taliban and the allied Haqqani network.
  (This story and related background material will be available on The Wall Street Journal website,
  "We must send a clear, unequivocal message to the government and the people of Pakistan that they must be part of the solution," she said during a joint press conference in Kabul with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "And that means ridding
their country of terrorists who kill their own people and who cross the border to kill in Afghanistan."
  Central Intelligence Agency director David Petraeus, who until recently
commanded coalition troops in Afghanistan, and the new Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, are joining Clinton in Islamabad later Thursday for talks with Pakistani civilian and military leaders.
  U.S. and Afghan officials have long contended that Pakistan's powerful military spy service, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, is funding and arming the Taliban leadership, based in the Pakistani city of Quetta, and the Haqqani network, based in the Pakistani tribal area of North Waziristan. The Haqqanis, these officials say, are responsible for a series of high-profile attacks in Kabul, including last month's 20-hour assault targeting the U.S. Embassy.
  "We're looking to the Pakistanis to lead on this because there is no place to go any longer," Clinton said after meeting with Karzai at his fortified palace. "No one should be in any way mistaken about allowing this to continue without paying a very big price."
  It's not clear, however, how the U.S. can force Pakistan to change its
long-standing policy of supporting the Taliban, especially as the 100,000 American forces in Afghanistan are beginning to pull out. Most foreign troops are slated to leave Afghanistan by late 2014, and many Pakistani military leaders believe that the U.S. will lose the war. They expect that the Taliban and the Haqqanis will emerge as a major power in Afghanistan's post-American arrangements.
  Clinton's warnings notwithstanding, Pakistani generals believe the U.S. won't back its threats with military action inside Pakistan, said Hasan-Askari Rizvi, an independent Pakistani defense analyst. "I don't think the U.S. will commit its troops to North Waziristan at a time when it's withdrawing from Afghanistan,"
Rizvi said.   Karzai has adopted an increasingly tough attitude towards Pakistan after a purported Taliban peace emissary from Quetta assassinated his chief peace negotiator, former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, last month. Following this assassination, Karzai ended efforts to reach out to the Quetta-based Taliban leadership, saying that Pakistan holds the keys to any peace settlement.
  Clinton, who met Rabbani's son earlier Thursday, voiced support for Karzai's decision, while saying that an inclusive peace deal is the only way to end the ten-year-old war.
  Karzai's aides, who have long pressed for more direct U.S. action on Pakistani soil, said they were heartened by Clinton's harsh warnings to Islamabad. "There is a common ground between the U.S. and Afghanistan with regard to the sanctuaries in Pakistan, that will have to be either confronted or dismantled with the
cooperation from Pakistan," said Shaida Mohammad Abdali, Karzai's deputy national security adviser. "This was one of the most engaging, cordial and visionary conversations we have had so far over the last ten years."
  The U.S. in the past has tried to strong-arm Pakistan into action against the
Haqqani network and the Quetta-based Taliban, with little success.
  Under a tacit agreement with Pakistan, the U.S. has been conducting for years drone strikes against the Haqqanis and other Afghan insurgents in North Waziristan and other Pakistani tribal areas. Pakistan, however, has resisted U.S. requests to expand these operations into insurgent sanctuaries near Quetta and other parts of Pakistan proper.
  U.S. officials view getting Pakistan to attack the Haqqanis' havens in North
Waziristan as key to efforts to weaken the insurgency and spur the militants into embracing peace talks.   Pakistan, which argues the U.S. has been unable to defeat the Haqqanis on Afghan soil, has rejected these demands. Pakistani officials say they do not have the
resources to mount such a massive operation against Afghan insurgents while the Pakistani military is still fighting a separate Pakistani Taliban insurgency
elsewhere in the tribal region.   The U.S. Congress is threatening to cut back billions of dollars in civilian and military aid for Pakistan if there is no action against the Haqqanis.
  Lawmakers are considering legislation that would tie American aid to an invasion of North Waziristan, and the move has drawn support from some conservative think-tanks.
  But Clinton and other State Department officials have pushed back, arguing that cutting off aid would further hurt Pakistan's efforts to defeat the militants.
  The U.S. government debate over how to deal with Pakistan reflects how little leverage Washington has over its nominal ally. The U.S. relies on Pakistan to act as a conduit for more than half of all war supplies that it ships to Afghanistan.
Pakistan also is a nuclear-armed country with which the U.S. wants to remain on speaking terms.

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