Pakistan to launch operation in North Waziristan

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Sikh_warrior, May 30, 2011.

  1. Sikh_warrior

    Sikh_warrior Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

    May 18, 2010
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    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to commence a careful and meticulous military offensive in North Waziristan Agency (NWA), the tribal area adjacent to Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, where military operation was not earlier conducted.

    Pakistan has never refused to undertake the operation but had been insisting that it would first consolidate its position in other parts of the tribal areas where it has carried out military action and achieved tremendous successes.

    The government on Friday opened the Razmak military college after its closure for two years and removed all the barricades in the area. It was an indication that things had eased up in the most volatile area in the tribal region. The decision pertaining to the mode of action and its scale has been left with the command of the armed forces. Interestingly, Nato leaders, especially Washington, had been insisting since long to initiate the operation in the tribal areas adjacent to the Taliban stronghold of Khost province.

    The understanding for carrying out the operation was developed during the recently-concluded visit of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. Pakistan has always maintained that any such operation would be at its own time of choosing. It argues that its 140,000 troops committed to the northwest are too stretched fighting militants who pose a domestic threat.

    Highly-placed sources told that the strategy drawn up for action in North Waziristan had been worked out long ago and accordingly the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) will be put in operation in first place. It will be softening the targets already determined and pointed out by the intelligence network and that would be followed by the ground action. A joint operation with the allies has also been discussed but no decision has yet been made for it since it involves numerous sensitivities. In case the two sides agreed to go for a joint action, it would be for the first time in the present war that foreign boots will get a chance to be on Pakistan’s soil with the consent of the host country. It will be done after a careful assessment of the situation and deliberations by the armed forces’ command in Pakistan.

    The sources reminded that the armed forces are already present in North Waziristan. The target of such an operation in North Waziristan would be the most violent factions within the so-called Pakistani Taliban. Their leader, Hakimullah Mahsud, is believed to be increasingly isolated after executing a prominent former Pakistani official over the objections of senior militant leaders.

    Although, Hakimullah Mahsud has been linked to attacks in tribal areas and Afghanistan, his main focus appears to be in plotting carnage elsewhere in Pakistan. And that makes him a prime target for the Army. Washington has long urged the Pakistanis to launch an operation in North Waziristan, a region overrun by an assortment of militant groups, including al-Qaeda. Most US drone strikes in Pakistan take place in North Waziristan.

    The sources pointed out that more than 30,000 soldiers are already present in North Waziristan, and some analysts say the Pakistan Army could quickly redeploy to the area. The Army has 140,000 soldiers in the tribal region that borders Afghanistan.

    The fissures among the militants were laid bare in February, when Mahsud released a gruesome video that confirmed the killing of former Pakistani Brigadier Sultan Amir Tarar. Mahsud’s group had held Imam for 10 months. The killing confounded Pakistani military officials. The divisions that Imam’s death revealed among the militant groups could provide an opportunity for the Army to hit hard at insurgents in the North Waziristan town of Mir Ali, where Mahsud set up bases after fleeing last year’s military assault on his headquarters in neighbouring South Waziristan. Mir Ali is about 32 kilometres from the town of Miramshah, where the Haqqanis are based.

    In recent years, the United States has identified Mir Ali as the site of a reconstituted al-Qaeda. Also on the run in Mir Ali is Ilyas Kashmiri, a confidante of Mahsud’s. The United States this month put a $5 million bounty on Kashmiri’s head.

    Incidentally, DG ISPR and spokesperson for the PAF were not available to offer comment on the development. The sources said that the PAF has put in place all precautionary measures to thwart any retaliatory action from North Waziristani elements. The PAF has already started reducing unnecessary non-operational staff at its bases considered possible target of retaliatory attacks by the militants, the sources said.

    The sources, on the other hand, had insisted that Pakistani leadership, civilian and military, had in unison given the undertaking to operate against the militants in North Waziristan in barter for the clean chit Clinton had granted to them in Osama bin Laden’s case.

    It is also pertinent to note here that American drones have been focusing at targets in North Waziristan during past many months despite protests registered by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. According to sources, the civilian as well as military leadership believes that surgical strikes in North Waziristan would possibly minimise the drone attacks that fuel anti-American sentiments across the country.

    Pakistan to launch operation in North Waziristan

    Looks like Auntie Clinton had a successfull visit!
    A.V. likes this.
  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    Hyderabad and Sydney
    The logical consequence of this is that there will be no more drone strikes. This must be the quid pro quo among others decided then.

    Pakistan 'plans' North Waziristan offensive - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English
    Pakistan will soon launch an air and ground military offensive in the tribal region of North Waziristan, the main sanctuary for armed groups on the border with Afghanistan, media reports say.

    The United States has long demanded that Pakistan launch an offensive in the region to hunt down the Haqqani network, one of the deadliest Afghan armed factions fighting American troops in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan has been reluctant, but has come under intense US pressure to act after it was discovered that Osama bin Laden had been living in the country.

    The News, a leading Pakistani daily, quoted unnamed "highly placed sources" as saying Pakistani airforce planes would soften up targets under the "targeted military offensive" before ground operations were launched.

    The newspaper said an understanding had been reached over the offensive during last week's visit by Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state.

    But a Pakistani military spokesman denied the reports as based on "rumours".

    'Significant move'

    However, reporting from Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab described the planned operation as very significant.

    "North Waziristan has long been a haven for a group called the Haqqani network, of course a very powerful group in Afghanistan which has long fought against US and NATO forces.

    " We are hearing that it is going to be a targeted military offensive in North Waziristan and what we are also hearing is that the Pakistani military would start with what they described as 'surgical air offensive' followed by ground troops.

    "Now we don't know when exactly this would happen but really what this is is Pakistan meeting a very key demand from the United States.

    A US embassy official said he was checking into the report. Pakistani officials were not immediately available for comment.

    Pakistan has maintained that its troops were already too stretched fighting Pakistani Taliban fighters in other parts of the northwest to tackle North Waziristan.

    But analysts say Pakistan sees the Haqqani network as an asset to counter the growing influence of rival India in Afghanistan.

    "What's also interesting about this North Waziristan operation is obviously the geography, North Waziristan, of course has been the subject of perhaps some of the most consistent drone strikes here in Pakistan," added our correspondent.

    Drone strikes are hugely unpopular in Pakistan, and some think that with Pakistan agreeing to carry out this operation, the United States may decide to stop the drone attacks or at least reduce the number of such attacks.

    Restaurant blast

    "Pakistani military is looking at a way to defuse the kind of tension in the country since the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden here in Pakistan," Tyab said.

    "The Pakistani military, the Pakistani government, and the intelligence agencies, have rececived an incredible amount of criticism....that they have never really seen in their time of existence.

    "So really what they are trying to do is trying to meet public mood, (by) trying to stop these US drone attacks within their borders."

    Meanwhile, a blast hit a restaurant in Pakistan's North Waziristan region, wounding 12 people, according to Reuters news agency.

    "We are checking the cause of blast....," a government official in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan where the blast took place on Monday, told Reuters.
  4. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Moscow, russia
    Pakistan at its game again , over a long period of time it has managed to fool the US and yet the US falls prey to it everytime.

    1. Offensive implies STOP ALL US OPERATIONS THERE as it can be friendly fire concept.

    2. In the name of Offensives catch a random few tribals , designate them taliban and shout how the offensive was a massive success.

    3. Organize the terror camps and terrorists there , and provide a safe heaven by stopping the US operations.


    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Every day Pakistan is getting closer and closer to an all out civil war.
  6. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

    May 5, 2011
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    This sounds more like a PR offensive directed at US Congress than a serious military offensive...
  7. Sikh_warrior

    Sikh_warrior Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

    May 18, 2010
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    Plan for operation in N. Waziristan finalised: Mullen

    WASHINGTON: The US military chief, Admiral Mike Mullen, said on Monday that the Pakistani government would launch a major offensive on militants in North Waziristan.

    “It’s a very important fight and a very important operation,” the outgoing chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff told a television network.

    In several interviews to US television channels, Admiral Mullen said part of his job as chairman had been to try and “close the trust gap” between the United States and Pakistan, which had built up over many years.

    Mr Mullen said he visited Pakistan last week with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to “show the strength in terms of our commitment” because “we’re going through a difficult patch right now after the (Osama) bin Laden operation”.

    The United States has long demanded the operation to eliminate the Haqqani network, which Washington claims is protected by Pakistanis.

    Apparently, an understanding for the offensive was reached during the recent visit to Pakistan by Secretary Clinton and Admiral Mullen.

    According to the plan, Pakistani aircraft will “soften up” militant targets before ground troops move in to wind up the operation. Pakistan had already prepared a blueprint for the offensive, which was finalised during the Clinton-Mullen visit.

    Pakistani diplomatic sources in Washington confirmed that “both sides have agreed in principle to carry out the offensive”, but like their counterparts in Islamabad, they refused to say when they expect the operation to begin. Pakistan maintains about 140,000 troops in the tribal region but military experts in Washington say it will have to bring in more troops for the operation to succeed.

    “We were very frank with them and they were very frank with us,” said Admiral Mullen while describing his meetings with Pakistani leaders in Islamabad last week.

    “On the army side right now there is a very significant introspective look and review that is ongoing. And I think they are going to have to get through that. And that makes sense to me,” he said.

    “I did hear from the military leadership their continued commitment to look ahead and work with us and we think that’s important.”

    Admiral Mullen said the reports of his allegedly tense conversations with Pakistani leaders were ‘overstated’.

    “We had a very good, frank, open discussion that touched on a wide range of issues. We thought it was important to have the meeting face to face to reaffirm the commitment to the relationship,” he said.

    “The Bin Laden raid, specifically is something that I know the Pakistani military, the Pakistani intelligence agencies are focusing on.”

    Admiral Mullen noted that Pakistan was located in a very critical part of the world. “We have common interests, and it’s important that both sides continue to commit to eradicating those terrorists.”

    The US military chief pointed out that in the US “one of the things that does not get enough focus is the sacrifices that the Pakistani military has made over the course of the last several years”.

    They have lost thousands of soldiers in this fight while “10-plus thousand” were wounded.

    “They have a significant internal threat and I think it’s vital that we continue to try to figure out a way ahead, even through these most difficult of times,” the admiral said.

    The US military chief said the “most important part” of his and Secretary Clinton’s meetings in Islamabad was the categorical statement that they issued, which made it clear that “we’ve seen no evidence of the senior leadership had any knowledge of Bin Laden’s presence there”.

    Bin Laden, he said, had to have “some kind of network … to be able to sustain an existence” but senior Pakistani leaders were not aware of this network.

    “And the Pakistanis hear America’s displeasure over that loud and clear I assume,” he was asked. “Yes, they do certainly,” the admiral replied.

    Reuters adds: Humanitarian agencies active in Pakistan’s northwest have been quietly told to prepare for up to 365,000 displaced people in advance of the military offensive in North Waziristan, a senior official with an international humanitarian agency said on Monday .

    The official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, was responding to reports that Pakistan would launch a military offensive against terrorists’ safe havens in the Afghan border regions.

    “Humanitarian agencies operating in Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were given the heads up two weeks ago by the authorities of a possible displacement of up to 50,000 families,” he said.

    Plan for operation in N. Waziristan finalised: Mullen | Newspaper | DAWN.COM

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