Report: U.S., Pakistan discuss operations

Aug. 4, 2012 at 11:09 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- The United States and Pakistan are discussing possible new joint military efforts against Islamic militants, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

Officials from the two nations met in Washington last week to discuss the idea, which the Journal said would mark a potentially significant upturn in the sometimes chilly alliance.

"It's a good beginning," said Vali Nasr, a former State Department official and current dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Sources familiar with the negotiations said the campaign would target Taliban fighters operating in Pakistan and the Haqqani militant group, which has been blamed for numerous attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Some U.S. officials have accused Pakistani intelligence agencies of having cozy ties with Haqqani.

The rift over Haqqani and U.S. drone strikes inside Pakistan has been a thorn in relationship between the two nations. But the recent low-profile visit by the Pakistani delegation reportedly went well.

Sources told the Journal the visit included dinner parties hosted by U.S. officials plenty of hobnobbing and networking among key members of Congress, the administration and the visiting Pakistani officials.

"Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work together to counter the terrorist presence in the region that threatens both U.S. and Pakistani national security," a senior U.S. official said of a dinner CIA Director David Petraeus threw Thursday for his Pakistani counterpart, Lt. Gen. Zahinr ul-Islam.

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