Zardari must strike a balance between US pressure and Pak Armys intolerance

September 19th, 2008 - 2:10 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Sept 19 (ANI): A leading US think tank in its latest report has warned that in order to pursue cooperation with the US-led war on terror, newly elected Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will have to strike a balance between the growing US pressure on Islamabad for military strikes in tribal areas, and the Pakistan Armys decreasing tolerance for such strikes.

Zardari must prioritise fighting militancy along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, said the report.

Only a few days back, the Pakistan Army had ordered its troops to hit back at US forces in case of any incursion into Pakistani territory from across the Afghan border. On Wednesday, tribals and Pakistan troops fired at two drones hovering over FATA after which they returned back to Afghanistan territory.

The US think tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said that Zardari also needed to work with major opposition parties to reduce public opposition to US incursions into FATA. Most importantly, President Zardari will need to ensure that the ensuing domestic political turbulence, heightened by the growing economic crisis, does not place his own government at risk from the army, the Daily Times quoted IISS as saying in a report titled Strategic Survey 2008.

IISS head John Chipman said, Zardaris major challenge will be to gain the trust of the army and build a consensus among the political establishment against terrorism and extremism. (ANI)

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