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US must target terrorist leaders in Pakistan: Book

by fwire  Nov 24, 2012 22:45 IST

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New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) Having eliminated Osama bin Laden, the US must target more and more terrorist leaders based in Pakistan, says a new book released here.

It is also important for the US to focus on Lashkar−e−Taiba (LeT), which has been blamed for the Mumbai terror attack, says the yet to be released book, "After Abbottabad: Terror to Turmoil in Pakistan" (Pentagon Press).

"US must stay the course in Afghanistan to maintain its painstakingly achieved intelligence grid there and in Pakistan and it must target and neutralise more terrorist leaders and modules," says the book by Anil Bhat, a former Indian Army spokesman.

"US must also ratchet its pressure on Pakistan Army and at least stop the supply of arms ... as these consignments have only been used to build up its arsenal against India," the book says.

The 200−page book examines in detail the US commando operation that led to the elimination of bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader who masterminded the deadly terror attack on the US in 2001.

"American must now focus on LeT, one of the largest and best funded militant organisations in South Asia," the book says.

The LeT oversaw the November 2008 Mumbai terror attack that left 166 Indians and foreigners dead.

Ajmal Amir Kasab, one of the Pakistani terrorists who carried out the carnage in Mumbai, was hanged in Pune Wednesday, after spending some four years in prison.

He was the only one to be caught alive during the mayhem. The other nine Pakistani terrrorists were killed during the operation.

The book quotes Admiral Robert Willard of the US military's Pacific Command as saying that the LeT was no longer solely focussed on India or in South Asia.

According to the book, LeT was on an expansion mode, "trying to attract well−educated youngsters into its fold and may well try to fill any gaps of Al Qaeda created by bin Laden's death".

Bhat feels that India must be ready to encounter hostility from the Taliban in a post−America Afghanistan because of the Taliban's links with the Pakistani state.

"While India would like to gain a foothold in Afghanistan by helping to rebuild the infrastructure in the war torn country, it will have to consider the security of its nationals in what could easily become a very hostile working environment...

"Unfortunately, the political mix in Afghanistan includes enough variables to make it seem that (President Hamid) Karzai is not really the friend India can depend on in Kabul."

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