Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

July 3, 2009

Napolitano in Islamabad

Filed under: International HLS,Strategy,Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on July 3, 2009

napolitano-in-pakistan   Secretary Napolitano with Prime Minister Gilani

As Secretary Napolitano began her day in Islamabad, a suspected US drone attack is said to have killed several Taliban leaders in Pakistan and taken out an insurgent training and communications node.

While US assets targeted South Waziristan, the Pakistani Air Force was pounding North Waziristan.

The Pakistani military operation along the Afpak border received a positive assessment from a typically skeptical British observer.  But meanwhile in Washington a respected Pakistani commentator says the Pakistani army is not yet ready for a full offensive  in South Waziristan.

A principal target of current US and Pakistani operations along the Afpak border is Baitullah Mehsud.  Yesterday afternoon the Washington Times reported, “Pakistan’s top Taliban leader, Baitullah Mehsud, is buying children as young as 7 to serve as suicide bombers in the growing spate of attacks against Pakistani, Afghan and U.S. targets.”

(A late afternoon July 3 report in the Washington Post provides a good overview of the same issues covered in the early morning post above.)

UPDATE: CNN is reporting on the Secretary’s meetings in Pakistan’s capital:

The Pakistani government’s crackdown on the Taliban has helped U.S. security, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday.

“The key concept is, you just can’t start protecting the homeland at the borders of the United States,” she said.

Napolitano said she was in Pakistan to discuss with Pakistani leaders the fight against terrorism, as well as how the two countries share information.

SECOND UPDATE:  The Pakistan newspaper DAWN is reporting:

Pakistan on Friday has again called for fencing its border with Afghanistan to effectively stop illegal crossings especially of militants to its territory.

The government of Afghanistan has consistently opposed the erection a fence on the border between two countries.

The issue was discussed during a meeting between Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and the US Secretary for Homeland Security Ms Janet Napolitano who called on him at the Prime Minister’s House this afternoon.

(Read more coverage of the Secretary’s meetings in Islamabad by DAWN.)

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