Gates: Al-Qaeda and its ‘syndicate’ will undertake activities to de-stabilize the region; Holbrooke: Clear links between Pakistani Taliban and the Khost suicide bomber; Miliband: Pakistan a top priority for British foreign policy;
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  • US Defence Secretary Robert Gates in Pakistan after visiting India stated that the Al Qaeda and its ‘syndicate’ comprising the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) and the LeT could undertake activities that could de-stabilize the whole region.1 Gates also stated that the Al Qaeda in all likelihood will not leave the Af-Pak region in the near future as the area has been the “source of inspiration” to the group.2 The US Defence Secretary was hopeful that the operations against the Taliban could be extended to North Waziristan also.3

    US Special Envoy to the region Richard Holbrooke in Kabul on January 17 stated that there were clear links between the Pakistani Taliban and the suicide bomber who attacked CIA forward post in Khost. He pointed out to the video released earlier in the month which showed the Jordanian suicide bomber alongside the TTP chief.4

    British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, testifying before the US Foreign Relations Committee on January 21 stated that Pakistan was a top priority in British foreign policy.5

    In domestic developments, reports noted that cases against President Zardari and others might be re-opened after the Supreme Court ended the “immunity” of these individuals under the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).6 The PPP on its part expressed full solidarity with Mr. Zardari.7