Pakistan poised for offensive in North Waziristan

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior Pakistani government official says Pakistan is poised to launch a full-scale offensive in its lawless tribal region if talks with Taliban insurgents fail.

Pakistan forces have conducted strikes in North Waziristan in recent days. The official, who briefed reporters Tuesday in Washington on condition that he not be identified, said those have largely been retaliatory strikes for Taliban attacks on the nation's armed forces, including the recent killing of 23 soldiers.

The official says the government prefers a negotiated settlement but that preparations have been made for military action if negotiations do not yield the — quote — "right dividend."

The U.S. has urged Pakistan to do more to quell insurgent activity in the region, which is home to local and foreign al-Qaida-linked militants.

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