Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pakistan seeks peace deal with Islamic militants, angering the U.S.

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's new government is negotiating a peace deal with militants in the Taliban-controlled Waziristan region, the rugged mountainous area that's thought to be Osama bin Laden's refuge.

The move reflects the changing approach of America's longtime ally in the war on terror, and news of the talks set off alarm bells in Washington Wednesday.

"We are concerned about it, and what we encourage them to do is to continue to fight against the terrorists and to not disrupt any security or military operations that are ongoing in order to help prevent a safe haven for terrorists there," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. "We have been concerned about these types of approaches because we don't think that they work."

However, details emerged Wednesday of talks under way between the Pakistani government and leaders of the dominant Mehsud tribe in South Waziristan on an agreement in which the Pakistani army would pull out of the area and the government would release some militants from custody.

No comments: