US NSA and CIA Director urge Pakistan to “do more” in the war on terror; 22 people killed in targeted killings in Karachi; Zardari, Gilani, and Kayani: North Waziristan operation the “prerogative and discretion” of Pakistan;
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  • The visiting US National Security Adviser James Jones met with Pakistan President Asif Zardari in Islamabad on May 19 and pledged cooperation in the fight against militancy. CIA Director Leon Panetta, US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson were also present at the meeting.1 The status of the progress on security cooperation and the impact of the failed bombing attempt at New York’s Times Square were among issues discussed. Reports also noted that Jones and Panetta were in Pakistan to convey President Obama’s message to Pakistan to “do more” in the war on terror by shedding its obsession with India.”2

    22 people, mainly activists belonging to political groups such as the Muhajir Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, the Awami National Party (ANP), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) were killed in Karachi on May 19.3

    Over 30 Taliban militants were killed and 18 injured in aerial strikes in Orakzai on May 16. 10 militant hideouts were reportedly destroyed in the strikes. On the other side, in Dabori 10 militant were reported killed and several injured by helicopter gunship.4 President Zardari, PM Gilani and Army Chief Qayani affirmed that there would be no external power interference in the ongoing operations in North Waziristan and the “prerogative and discretion” rests entirely with Pakistan.5

    In other developments, after a meeting of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) and Revenue Advisory Council (RAC) on May 23 chaired by the Advisor (finance and revenue) to PM Gilani, it was reported that Pakistan’s budget deficit for the fiscal year 2010-11 worth Rs. 703 billion would be covered by internal and external loans.6