Pakistan Cuts Off Talks With Militant Tribes

US saw increase in groups' activity in Afghanistan during lull
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2008 9:16 AM CDT
A Pakistani security guard stands at the site of Monday's massive car bomb outside the Danish Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan on Tuesday, June 3, 2008.    (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
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(Newser) – Pakistan is suspending talks with militant tribes along its lawless border with Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal reports, a move that could bolster relations with the US. Negotiations won’t resume until the warlords agree to new conditions, including an end to activities within Afghanistan, Pakistani officials told the Bush administration. In the meantime, the military will resume operations against the tribes.

“We want to make absolutely certain that the complaints that resulted from previous agreements will not be repeated,” said a senior Pakistani official. The Pentagon has fretted that peace talks—and the accompanying ceasefire—have given the Taliban and al-Qaeda a free hand to operate in Afghanistan. They’re especially worried about Baitullah Mehsud, the commander who allegedly ordered Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.