LAHORE: Speculations about possible Pakistan-US joint operation against the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan are absolutely baseless and absurd, said senior security officials requesting anonymity on Tuesday.
One of the officials vehemently rejected the possibility of any ISI-CIA led joint operation code-named as ‘Tight Screw’ against Haqqanis.
Sharing details regarding the recent visit of Lieutenant General Zaheerul Islam, the new head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency – to Washington, the officer said that Pakistan does not support Haqqani Network and their activities inside Afghanistan and denied using them as surrogate against US-led Nato forces in Afghanistan.
The sources further added that such media speculations are creating misperceptions and that there is no truth in these fabricated stories.
However according to a report by The Telegraph, US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta said that Pakistan military is planning to start an operation against militants in North Waziristan.
The report stated that army chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani had confirmed to General John Allen, commander Isaf (International Security Assistance Force) in Afghanistan during a meeting that the fighting was about to start.
“Gen Kayani did indicate that they had developed plans to go into Waziristan. Our understanding is that hopefully they’re going to take that step in the near future. I can’t tell you when. But the indication that we have is that they are prepared to conduct that operation soon,” Panetta said.
Calling it a welcome change in Pakistan’s stance, Panetta said Pakistan has “talked about it for a long time. Frankly, I’d lost hope that they were going do anything about it. But it does appear that they in fact are going to take that step.”