WASHINGTON (AFP) President Barack Obama gathered his war council Thursday before hosting Afghan President Hamid Karzai next week, and as investigators probed the New York bomb plot for links to Pakistani extremist groups. Obama gathered top administration national security officials in the White House Situation Room, a week before Karzais high-stakes visit on May 12, designed to shore up an uneasy truce between the two governments. Officials said that the meeting would include Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, top intelligence and counterterrorism officials and General Stanley McChrystal, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The session comes ahead of a planned meeting in Washington with Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who hopes to mend frayed ties with the United States. The focus on Pakistan comes days after the arrest of Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad in connection with the failed Times Square bomb plot and questions on whether the incident is linked to a wider group from that country. Pakistans military said it had yet to establish a link between Shahzad, who is the son of a retired air force officer, and the countrys main militant stronghold in Waziristan. Until and unless the link is established, it will be premature to say that he had gone there, army spokesman Athar Abbas told AFP.