Pakistan, US agree on joint raids: WSJ

Published: August 5, 2012

The operations will target Haqqani, TTP sanctuaries.

NEW YORK: 

US and Pakistani officials are considering joint counterterrorism campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan, an American newspaper reported on Saturday, saying the move would mark an upturn in cooperation after more than a year of ‘rancorous’ relations. 

“The campaigns would be intended to help stamp out major security threats facing each country, targeting what the US says are sanctuaries for the Haqqani network, and what Pakistan says are sanctuaries for the Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan,” the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said in a dispatch on the talks ISI chief Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam had with his CIA counterpart David Petraeus as well as officials of the State Department and Pentagon.

The plans are considered, at best, promising, the dispatch said, pointing out that US officials have long pressed Pakistani counterparts to target the Haqqani group, but without success.

In meetings with CIA’s Petraeus and other officials, Lt Gen Islam explained that US concessions on drones and the Taliban sites in Afghanistan would give Islamabad room to build domestic support for counterterrorism work with the US, the newspaper quoted officials as saying.

Under this proposal, the US would also work with Pakistan to control the Afghan side of the border, so militants driven out could not escape into the Afghan border region, these officials said.

The Pakistanis have named the planned offensive, in North Waziristan, Operation Tight Screw, according to WSJ.

“Pakistan’s democratic government is committed to moving forward with the US in many shared goals,” Pakistan’s Ambassador in Washington Sherry Rehman was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

She said her government is working to reshape its relationships in the region. “Better ties with the US can help us in this broader goal of creating equities for peace instead of volatility in a region that is going through many security transitions.”

“It’s a good beginning,” Vali Nasr, a former top State Department official who is dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, told the newspaper.

He pointed out that in previous joint campaigns Pakistan has asked to be involved in all aspects of intelligence-gathering. But the US side has looked sceptically at Pakistani requests to share information about coming raids. “It’s always been a sticking point,” said Nasr, an American of Iranian descent.

Also discussed was Pakistan’s demand for a halt to CIA drone strikes in tribal region. But no agreement was reached on any changes to the programme, the newspaper said, citing officials.

US and Pakistani officials, according to the dispatch, both described this week’s meetings as productive and indicative of a higher level of trust than in previous meetings.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Enlightened
    Aug 5, 2012 - 11:21AM

    Pakistan will be doing a great favour to itself by taking action against both TTP and Haqqani groups. However, if it does not fulfill its commitments as in the past, US is going to come heavily on Pakistan.

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  • bilal
    Aug 5, 2012 - 11:21AM

    after 10 years of collision partner in war against terrorism have finally decided to raid against the insurgents. we want to know when this war is going to end. tired of this war against terror

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Aug 5, 2012 - 11:35AM

    Go Sherry, go. Work on your charms:-)

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  • Pollack
    Aug 5, 2012 - 11:44AM

    Pakistan army is finally being reasonable. Reasonable people will be rewarded.

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  • anonymous
    Aug 5, 2012 - 11:47AM

    To put it bluntly:

    Drones to continue
    Pakistan to attack Haqqanis
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  • The Truth
    Aug 5, 2012 - 12:37PM

    Sorry to say, if ever this war comes to an end US will kick Pakistan out of its interest in the region and there would be nothing left in the end for sorry Pakistan the. Ya Allah when the Pakistan Incumbent government will understand.

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  • True Muslim Paki
    Aug 5, 2012 - 12:37PM

    “The Pakistanis have named the planned offensive, in North Waziristan, Operation Tight Screw, according to WSJ.”

    Aptly named. Tightly screwed & the price is 1 Bln in advance & Rest comes later!

    Shame!

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  • Malik
    Aug 5, 2012 - 1:13PM

    Bismillah. It’s time to start firing back at the drones. Drones kill Indiscriminately innocent Muslim and instead the NATO/US should send troops to kill, man up whities. Recommend

  • casim
    Aug 5, 2012 - 1:53PM

    This will cause more problems for us Pakistanis! remember what havoc the terrorist wrecked on Pakistanis during the years 2006-2009? there were bombings everywhere everyday!.This will not go well if Pak Army is thinking of carrying out ground offensive in North Waziristan. US will never win this war not even for the next decade.

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  • Khan
    Aug 5, 2012 - 6:11PM

    @Malik:

    man up whities.

    Manning up or showing bravery isn’t about stupidity you know .. Human are superior than animals and are meant to be using their brain unlike animals.

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  • AnisAqeel
    Aug 5, 2012 - 7:21PM

    Great news. We must put aside our false pride aside and fight side by side to eliminate our existential threat from terrorists.

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  • Don
    Aug 5, 2012 - 7:27PM

    Pakistan army has finally revealed that it is serving US not willingly but are afraid to do so. I ask one thing, what is the limit of this scared theory, when Pakistan will react. If for example US demands that the mothers and sisters of all Pakistanis be handed over to US, whether Pakistan will react or not.

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  • Fahad
    Aug 5, 2012 - 9:56PM

    If joint operations have really been agreed upon, its a welcome news….If US and Pakistan are somehow able to align their interests, it would be an ideal situation for both the countries…Pakistan will get the much needed patronage economic and political forums and the US will be able to safeguard its regional interests through Pakistan Army, and off-course the government and the people as well….Recommend

  • Basit
    Aug 5, 2012 - 11:52PM

    Only the Americans and their stooges can think that another operation is all it will take to defeat the insurgents.

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  • yacob malik
    Aug 6, 2012 - 1:09AM

    How can our army decieve our brothers in afghanistan?

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  • Muhammad Hassan
    Aug 6, 2012 - 2:10AM

    @Basit, considering that Taliban supporters like you are everywhere, I’d say it will take at lease a generation to really defeat the insurgents.

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  • Cautious
    Aug 6, 2012 - 4:37AM

    @Malik

    Bismillah. It’s time to start firing
    back at the drones. Drones kill
    Indiscriminately innocent Muslim and
    instead the NATO/US should send troops
    to kill, man up whities

    Last I looked the President of the USA was black — I doubt that will change your racist attitude but facts never seem to overcome bias.

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  • Aug 6, 2012 - 4:45AM

    Hope we have (again) not agreed to work on the same old pay and there is no U turn on the policy of no US boots on Pak soil.

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  • jeff
    Aug 6, 2012 - 7:17AM

    Interestingly, this was originally posted on WSJ and our media didn’t provide any detail in this regard. Secondly, both sides have the same arguments, one is asking for drone tech & intel sharing, other is asking for “MORE” to do on terrorism. It’s the same musical chair…

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Aug 6, 2012 - 10:42AM

    Are Pakistan army,security forces and FC’s personnels not good enough to raid on the terrorists’ hideouts????
    And thus by doing so the US’ forces’ dreams of entering Pakistan to kill the innocent Pakistanis by staying within Pakistan legally and lawfully by the permission of Pakistani corrupt,beggars,slaves and conscienceless leaders shall be fulfilled…Recommend

  • Muhammad Hassan
    Aug 6, 2012 - 6:17PM

    @Ahmer Ali: Apparently not. Haven’t you noticed that the Taliban have grown stronger in the last few years. Clearly, Pakistan is not capable of fighting them alone.

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  • Zalmai
    Aug 7, 2012 - 12:58AM

    The mighty $ turns Pakistanis into circus clowns jumping through burning hoops to please their masters.

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  • P N Eswaran
    Aug 7, 2012 - 4:37PM

    @Don:
    Depending on the price!

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Aug 8, 2012 - 12:27AM

    It’s highly unlikely that this planned offensive, in North Waziristan, “Operation Tight Screw” would bear fruit. If the US does it share and goes after the TTP insurgents in Afghanistan on behalf of Pakistan, there’s no guarantee that Islamabad would go after the Haqqani fighters in North Waziristan, because they don’t pose a threat to Pakistan.

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