U.S. should focus on Afghanistan, not Pakistan: army chief

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 19, 2011 12:19 AM
U.S. should focus on Afghanistan, not Pakistan: army chief

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's army chief told parliament's defense committee the United States should focus on stabilizing Afghanistan instead of pushing Pakistan to attack militant groups in a crucial border region, a committee member told Reuters on Wednesday.

Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani also said Pakistan alone will decide if and when to launch a full-scale offensive in the North Waziristan region to attack Islamist militants.

He also said the United States would have to think "10 times" before taking any unilateral action there. Pakistan is not like Iraq or Afghanistan, the parliamentarian quoted Kayani as saying. The MP spoke on condition of anonymity.

Such views could deepen tensions between the United States and its uneasy but important ally Pakistan.

(Reporting by Qasim Nauman; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Paul Tait)