Gates Visits Pakistan, Urges Terror Crackdown
But Pakistan says it won't launch further offensives
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2010 7:22 AM CST
Pakistan's Defense Minister Ahmad Mukhtar, right, meets Robert Gates in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Jan. 21, 2010.   (AP Photo/Press Information Department)

(Newser) – Robert Gates arrived in Islamabad today for an unannounced visit, urging a crackdown on Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters headed for India or Afghanistan. Pakistan often leaves such outward-bound militants alone, concentrating on domestic foes, but “the reality is that you can’t ignore one part of this cancer and pretend it won’t have some impact closer to home,” Gates argued. He also said he’d raise concerns about recent “manifestations of anti-Americanism” in the country.

But the Pakistani military responded by announcing that it can’t launch any new offensives for six to 12 months, and doesn’t intend to move against North Waziristan for fear of jeopardizing gains it has made in South Waziristan. “You completely destabilize the area if you push forward,” the country’s top military spokesman told US reporters. “We are not in a position to overstretch.”