Senator says "all options on table" on Pakistan

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 25, 2011 10:13 AM
Senator says "all options on table" on Pakistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will have to "put all options on the table" in dealing with any Pakistani support for militant networks that U.S. troops are fighting in the region, a leading senator said on Sunday.

"We need to put Pakistan on notice," Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican member of the Armed Services Committee said on "Fox News Sunday."

U.S. military leaders said last week that the Pakistani army's powerful spy agency supported the Haqqani militant group that Washington blames for the recent attack on its embassy and other targets in Kabul, Afghanistan. Pakistan denied the allegations.

Graham said Pakistan has to choose between helping the Haqqani network and helping the United States fight al Qaeda in Afghanistan and border regions of Pakistan.

"The idea of Pakistan's intelligence agencies supporting terrorism as a national strategy needs to come to an end," Graham said.

"It destabilizes Afghanistan. They're killing American soldiers. If they continue to embrace terrorism as part of their national strategy we're going to have to put all options on the table, including defending our troops."

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bill Trott)