Pakistan has denied receiving any dossier from the United States, which purportedly described the failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad’s links with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), that was accompanied with the veiled US threat of action against terrorists on its soil.
“You better put this question to officials of the Interior Ministry, however, I confirm it to you that Foreign Office has not been consulted so for in this regard,” The Nation quoted a Foreign Office spokesman, as responding to a question whether Islamabad has received any dossier in connection with botched May 1 terror plot.
Earlier, a report in the Los Angeles Times said that the US has given a blunt message to Pakistan that it would be under “inevitable pressure” to take immediate and stern action if a successful terror attack is traced back to that country.
The report cited officials privy to the recent meeting between President Obama’s National Security Advisor James Jones,Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Leon Panetta and Pakistan’s political and military leadership, as saying that during the talks the top US officials told Islamabad in clear terms that it needed to intensify its crackdown in the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
“We have been lucky in the past, but our luck will run out and in the future, we are likely to face successful attacks,” the newspaper quoted a senior U.S. intelligence official, as saying.
According to officials, both Jones and Panetta, during their Islamabad visit earlier this month, had told both the Pakistani civilian and military leadership that there was ‘hard’ evidence to prove that Faisal Shahzad, the confessed Times Square bomb plotter, received terror training by the TTP in the lawless tribal areas of the country along the Afghanistan border.
“The chart, which was assembled by U.S. intelligence agencies, showed who all he had contacts with, and drew clear links between Faisal Shahzad and the TTP leaders in Pakistan,” officials said.
Jones and Panetta did not spell out possible action the U.S. might take, however, the delegation did not rule out military action, said an official privy to the meeting.
According to experts and officials, US’ action would depend on the circumstances of an attack and the strength of the evidence implicating militants in Pakistan.
Former CIA official and a terrorism expert at the Brookings Institution, Bruce Riedel, said the pressure on the White House to act could be ‘overwhelming.’
“Professions by the Pakistanis that they are trying hard won”t cut it anymore,” Riedel said.