Squeezing militants: Army urges NATO action on militant havens

Published: October 30, 2011

The house of TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud in the Kotkai village of South Waziristan. PHOTO YASIR ALI/EXPRESS NEWS

PESHAWAR: Standing in an area that was once the stronghold of Pakistan’s most wanted man, a top commander of the army pledged that Pakistan was, and would continue, to take action against militants on this side of the border.

Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Asif Yasin Malik was speaking to a select group of journalists on Saturday during a visit to South Waziristan’s Kotkai area – an area famous for being the stronghold, and the hometown, of Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) chief Hakeemullah Mehsud.

In a visit that included a trip to the dreaded TTP commander’s home as well as to that of his deputy Qari Hussain, Gen Malik said that the Pakistan Army was doing its part on this side of the border – and urged international forces in Afghanistan to do their part to destroy militant sanctuaries.

“Pakistan will not tolerate any infiltration in its area. The Afghan government and Nato should not allow terrorists’ safe havens in Afghan provinces along the Pakistan border,” he said.

“We will take action against the terrorists in our area and Nato and Afghanistan should also take action against them (terrorists) in their area across the border.”

General Yasin Malik, who is supervising military operations in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, said that any dialogue with militants would be conducted and initiated by the political leadership. Malik informed the reporters that the army had sealed the Pak-Afghan borders in Mohmand and Bajaur agencies, Dir and Chitral districts.

The commander went on to add that no one would be allowed to live in Pakistan illegally and those who wished to migrate would have to fulfill all legal formalities. Malik claimed that the military had cleared around 80 % of South Waziristan from militant activities while the remaining area would also be cleared soon.

“Our troops will stay here until complete security is ensured in this area, the Pakistan army is not going back from the tribal regions,” Malik said.

Journalists who visited Mehsud’s and Hussain’s deserted homes in Tarangy village of Kotkai said that the TTP commander’s house, built on a 300 square yard property, had been lying in ruins.

Express News correspondent Yasir Ali, who visited the property, said that the house had three rooms, including a kitchen, washroom and verandah which were destroyed while pamphlets of the militant outfit littered the floor. The house of Qari Hussain was also seen in complete destruction and in the control of security forces.

Security forces had launched Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Path to Deliverance) on October 17, 2009 to clear South Waziristan Agency of militancy.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Aristo
    Oct 29, 2011 - 3:36PM

    Too little too late, aye!

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  • Sam
    Oct 29, 2011 - 3:38PM

    so he admits that Pakistan has “terrorists safe havens” inside its territory.

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  • AnisAqeel
    Oct 29, 2011 - 3:48PM

    Thank you General, this thing could have been said and done honorably a long, long time ago while saving lives, honor and dignity and without any pressure.

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  • Terrorising and true
    Oct 29, 2011 - 4:11PM

    Yeah, the Pakistanis will do something they have not done for so many years because US said so…. LOL.. What does CIA stand for? – Continue In Audacity..

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  • hillbilly
    Oct 29, 2011 - 4:14PM

    @Sam:

    ok, he admits, what you gonna do about it?

    stop being a smart alec and leave the semantics aside, such attitude helps no one.

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  • ishaq
    Oct 29, 2011 - 4:15PM

    in which Century?

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  • Oct 29, 2011 - 4:18PM

    He is speaking the language of us, not the Pakistani. InshAllah Imran khan will handle US better when he comes into action.

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  • hindustan ki shakti
    Oct 29, 2011 - 4:35PM

    This is just to avoid the action from US & NATO forces.

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  • Peshawar
    Oct 29, 2011 - 4:53PM

    What do all you people think that the Army is doing there? Clearing these areas is not a go in, fight and win operation. These things take time and a prolonged effort. This war is the very definition of attrition warfare. Hence the comment that we will stay here as long as needed.

    For example the army goes in to an area and aliban activity reduces there by 70-80%. The rest is then brought down to as close to zero as possible over a prolonged time with minor tactical operations. This is the phase that our troops are in at the moment. Bringing terrorist activity to zero will take a minimum of 3 to 4 years in areas where there is good cooperation with the locals. In other areas trust is being established and things are moving forward. Please understand that the taliban do not have green skin or long tails so identifying them is difficult and tricky when they are walking around without their guns as they mostly do when crossing the border.

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  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    Oct 29, 2011 - 5:07PM

    When Imran Khan or who so ever sits on throne; they will see the ground realities for themselves.

    It one thing to speak to the press or masses, and quite another to face facts.

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  • Iron hand
    Oct 29, 2011 - 5:59PM

    Imran Khan will learn the same lesson that all others have learned: you cannot appease the fanatics. Unless he intends to agree to take Pakistani society back to the 7th century, negotiations with these blood thirsty cavemen is a fool’s errand.

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  • Oct 29, 2011 - 7:09PM

    @Sharjeel Jawaid:
    Give Imran a chance please! And of course your support. I am glad some action is taking place now. Keep it up general!

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  • Amir Ali
    Oct 29, 2011 - 7:09PM

    These Imran Khan troll are beginning to annoy a lot, where does he even come from in this, fine when he comes into power Pakistan will be the biggest superpower in the whole wide world. Everything from head to toe will be fixed in ten days, until then this is a positive statement statement. Recommend

  • biryani
    Oct 29, 2011 - 7:33PM

    Imran khan should learn…. whatever he does, he cannot go against the whim of a general…. i think he s learnt that

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  • Jadugar
    Oct 29, 2011 - 7:40PM

    Days of tough talks are over LG Asif Malik, The nation just cannot live on tough words only, Frankenstien (terrorism) need to be destroyed ,Ten years on and we are still talking about How to kill the monaster though the Pak Army were given all the help and facility to do so, You are only reacting now is because the pressure is becomining unbearable.

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  • sashayub
    Oct 29, 2011 - 7:40PM

    @GamesHT:
    For someone who is widely known to have the backing of both the COAS and ISI, Imran Khan will do no different, he is part of the system and not apart from it.

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  • Maulana Diesel
    Oct 29, 2011 - 8:21PM

    Imran thinks its HALWA handling AFPAK affairs.

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  • antanu
    Oct 29, 2011 - 9:03PM

    @hindustan ki shakti:
    Dont be rediculous. they have not lost thousands of army men by sitting idle.

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  • stevenson
    Oct 29, 2011 - 9:31PM

    @Sam: Do you have any idea what the bordering desolate mountain area is like? The tribal area between Pakistan and Afghanistan was never fully governed, even under the British. Your lack of understanding of the border region tells me you are not Pakistani but some Indian troll. Must we remind you that Pakistan has made the greatest sacrifices in fighting the War on Terror. Moreover Pak took the lead role in defeating Soviets.

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  • Rana Athar Javed
    Oct 29, 2011 - 9:59PM

    The statement to stay in the area until the issue of infiltration from across the Afghan border demonstrates Pakistan’s resolve toward Counter Insurgency (COIN). It is just an allegation that the General is speaking someone else’s language (assuming it to be of the US). The consistent US and NATO propaganda against Pakistan is undermining its military’s sincere efforts to counter the terrorist activities and threats the militants posing from Afghanistan. Mischaracterization of operational intentions & plans will only add to confusion and stereotype allegations on military and security apparatuses. Let the military and relevant quarters take on the terrorists and support their efforts against all type of aggression, this can be classified as a a service to a stable South Asia. Pakistanis are capable enough to clear and maintain peace within its own territory, but, it must not be blamed for something that is being generated and supported by the Afghan people. This their birth-right to fight the invaders.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Oct 29, 2011 - 11:19PM

    Guilty conscious pricks the mind but why Mangal Bagh is moving around freely not far away from Peshawar??? The safe heavens in Punjab are the main root cause and are known to all.

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  • Ikramuddin Akbar
    Oct 29, 2011 - 11:37PM

    The fact is that our forces have the ability to teach the insurgents an unforgettable lesson that they will never ever forget. and the General is very right in his reaction .Still our jawans are very lenient to them just ascertaining how far the miscreants can go.Otherwise its only a day’s matter.

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  • Babloo
    Oct 30, 2011 - 12:41AM

    So you have launched a war against ‘strategic depth’ or is this just anathor of those ‘statements’ ?

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  • Rao
    Oct 30, 2011 - 2:27AM

    Best wishes to General for success. Only Pakistan again only pakistan military can eliminate the menance of terroism. Any other country try do it will endanger whole of south asia.

    In the internet era every one understand every thing if he/she takes some pains and put some reasoning.

    First of all Pakistan should have never allowed US in their very near vicinity. Having done so, it has to convince world community that it can erase terroism within it’s soil atleast.Recommend

  • Imran
    Oct 30, 2011 - 9:31AM

    Finally ET has woken up!!

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  • Cautious
    Oct 30, 2011 - 9:33AM

    Standing in an area that was once the stronghold of Pakistan’s most wanted man,
    .
    Should have given the speech from Abbottabad – would remind the World just how little Pakistan cares about militants using it’s territory as a sanctuary.

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  • Dr.A.K. Tewari
    Oct 30, 2011 - 6:58PM

    Don’t talk , about peace talk , Gen .has hinted what is required to be done at present . A clear voice emerged from Pakistan . Use unhuman means to deal with those who do not understand the language of peace. They are no more streategic asset …… And if they are , should be known to the entire world openly .

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  • Dr.A.K. Tewari
    Oct 30, 2011 - 7:18PM

    Who is Imran Khan, Border in Pakistan rests with armed forces which is under the direct control of N S G (like agency ) and not with the politicians , almost same set up exist in all sovereign cointries of the world . Pakistan has to restore its lost sovereinity .

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