Enough is enough: ANP to push for consensus on N Waziristan operation

Published: December 24, 2012

“This is not ANP’s war. This is a battle for survival for all of us" PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: In the wake of its leader Bashir Bilour’s assassination, the Awami National Party (ANP) will push for a full-scale military offensive against Taliban insurgents based in the North Waziristan tribal region – believed to be a stronghold of Haqqani Network and their tribal cohorts.

According to sources in the ANP, the party plans to propose either an all-party conference or a special sitting of Parliament to evolve a consensus on a strong response to growing militancy in the country.

A special meeting of the party’s central decision-making body will be convened tomorrow (Tuesday) in Peshawar to discuss both proposals.

Most ANP leaders believe it is high time for a military operation in North Waziristan, sources said. ANP’s central information secretary confirmed that his party will seek a consensus among all political parties for a united front against terrorism.

“This is not ANP’s war. This is a battle for survival for all of us … if militants are not willing to reconcile then we have no other option except the use of force,” Senator Zahid Khan told The Express Tribune. He insisted that certain political parties will have to review their “dual policy” and come up with a clear stance against militancy.Zahid Khan

ANP lawmaker Bushra Gohar, however, was more candid. “We have already wasted a lot of time and we strongly believe that terrorist sanctuaries, wherever they exist, must be eliminated,” she said.

When asked, a senior military official said an operation in North Waziristan was not possible without political ownership. He added that the government would have to take the final decision on whether or not to go for an all-out offensive.

Despite US pressure, Pakistan has been reluctant to launch a military operation in North Waziristan for a host of reasons.

In the past, the military has indicated its willingness to take on the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan – which is based in neighbouring South Waziristan Agency – it has never shown any commitment for a possible action against the Haqqani Network.Bushra Gohar

One reason security officials cite for this policy is that the Haqqani Network pose no immediate threat to Pakistan’s interests.

However, some observers disagree with this approach. They insist that while all these groups may operate independently, they complement each other’s actions at the same time.

Senior ANP leader and K-P Information Minister Mian Iftikhar also warned against differentiating between “good or bad Taliban”. “All of them (Taliban) are the same so they have to be dealt with accordingly,” he told a private news channel.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2012.

 

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Reader Comments (56)

  • PakPower
    Dec 24, 2012 - 3:29AM

    Fishy. Who else has been pushing us for a full scale operation in N Waziristan since the Malala episode? I won’t be surprised if Mr. Bilour’s assassination has a foreign hand involved.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Dec 24, 2012 - 3:41AM

    The Pakistani Establishment better act quickly and with intent – otherwise calls will grow for a referendum on the Federation Of Pakistan.

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  • gp65
    Dec 24, 2012 - 3:58AM

    @PakPower: “Fishy. Who else has been pushing us for a full scale operation in N Waziristan since the Malala episode? I won’t be surprised if Mr. Bilour’s assassination has a foreign hand involved.”

    If TTP are CIA agents, Malala was a CIA agent and per Pakistani government there are no HAqqanis or Afghan Talian i North Waziristan, then to borrow from Ijaz Saroop’s brilliant statement in the Malala case, Cia shot a CIA agent to create justification for bombing more CIA agents.
    Do you know how silly your conspiracy theory sounds?

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  • Jibran
    Dec 24, 2012 - 3:59AM

    @PakPower:
    Please stop your utter nonsense, and outrageous comments. A brave son of the soil gave his life, and the sympathizers of the terrorists like you are still spinning the conspiracy theories. Even if a “foreign Saudi hand” is present in N. Waziristan, and free mason devil worshipers are operating from there, they must be eliminated. We will not let the imported brand of violent cult to be imposed on our religion and our way of life. It should be banished to where it belongs.

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  • Zohaib
    Dec 24, 2012 - 4:00AM

    @arijit sharma, lol mate this could be your dream, but this will never happen. pakistan will and must clean this extremism from its roots “but” call for the federation of pakistan is inappropriate. if u say so than Kashmir must get justice and all those mau baghi movements. if not than there will be a referendum on the federation of india.

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  • aaaaa
    Dec 24, 2012 - 4:03AM

    He added that the government would have to take the final decision on whether or not to go for an all-out offensive.

    When the going gets tough, pass the buck to the government. Tried and tested tactic of the establishment.

    P.S PakPower seems like an ISPR troll.

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  • Basit Khan
    Dec 24, 2012 - 4:15AM

    This is the ANP that we voted for in 2008. The ANP that we have known historically for their consistent and clear stand against Pakistan’s use of proxies to achieve strategic goals in the region. They lost some valuable time, of late, in their folly of playing to the gallery – the give peace a chance crowd – but to see them back on track is really heartening.

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  • Kosher Nostra
    Dec 24, 2012 - 4:26AM

    @Arijit Sharma:
    So when Maoist attack you guys call referendum?

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  • Hammad
    Dec 24, 2012 - 4:28AM

    Good luck trying to convince the taliban sympathizers in the army and also conspiracy theory nuts like in the first comment.

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  • Chaigram
    Dec 24, 2012 - 4:29AM

    Go for it, the entire nation of Pakistan will support you. One big push to clean up the bad eggs is better than the slow bleeding the country is suffering on daily basis. Inshallah Allah will be with you and victors will be people of Pakistam.

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  • FJ
    Dec 24, 2012 - 4:41AM

    Yes, enough is enough. These TTP members are killing shias, LHV s, ANP leadership, PPP members or leaders. Just look at their random targets, nobody will be safe from them, even their own supporters. We need to take a clear stance on the NW operation.

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  • Something Clever
    Dec 24, 2012 - 4:56AM

    @PakPower:
    Just… Just shutup already. Your conspiracy nonsense is getting really old and pathetic.

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  • Blithe
    Dec 24, 2012 - 5:02AM

    What was ANP doing during the past 5 years.
    Nothing much except playing ethnic politics and renaming
    a perfectly decent NWFP to an objectionable KPK…

    Why have they woken up after so long ?!?!?

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  • Ghani
    Dec 24, 2012 - 5:07AM

    Thumbs up if you are for Army Operation in N. Waziristan.

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  • PakPower
    Dec 24, 2012 - 5:17AM

    @something clever

    Entertain me with your sensible comments then.

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  • PakPower
    Dec 24, 2012 - 5:40AM

    To clear things up I was just presenting an alternate point of view. I am not a sympathizer of these rabid terrorists nor am I an ISPR troll. I stand behind the extermination of these extremists.

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  • Pakistani
    Dec 24, 2012 - 6:11AM

    Oh shut up @PakPower! Its ppl like you who are responsible for bringing our country to this place! Jaahil conspiracy theorists!

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  • Iftikhar Khan
    Dec 24, 2012 - 6:18AM

    Agree with the ANP leaders, there should be unanimous effort of providing justice to barbarians who have made life miserable for all Pakistanis. ANP should also renounce those who are using their cover in Karachi to do terrorism.

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  • Qaisrani
    Dec 24, 2012 - 6:18AM

    US! more drone please. Rest in peace Bashir Bilour. Whole Pakistan is proud of you.

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  • Dilbar Jahan
    Dec 24, 2012 - 6:21AM

    “… the North Waziristan tribal region – believed to be a stronghold of …” Lolz, ET!

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  • Pashtun voice
    Dec 24, 2012 - 7:09AM

    Pak Army needs to decide if it a friend of the Pushtuns or an enemy. If it is an enemy than KP will separate from Pakistan.

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  • khalid
    Dec 24, 2012 - 8:11AM

    Let ANP and PPP decide on it, as these are the only political poarties who have taken the main brunt of war against terrorism. PTI, PMLN, PMLQ etc don’t face any threats from the terrorists as they have soft corner/historical relations with these Taliban groups. Down with Taliban sympathisers.Its time to put our feet down and fight this extremist menace tooth n nail before its too late.

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  • GhostRider
    Dec 24, 2012 - 8:28AM

    So now full scale military offensive is necessary when it hurts you…hypocricy

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  • A Shahid
    Dec 24, 2012 - 8:35AM

    It is high time to say goodbye to this War Of Terror and pursue the policies of reconciliation and peace. Each and every assassination or collateral death emphasis the need to culminate this vicious game and think in the larger interests of the country. We cannot fight the regressive ideals of religious nut-jobs with guns and tanks, they can only be countered through mass education, awareness and non-violent means and over time. No one single surgical operation can cure this cancer hence it is time to go back to the drawing board and re-write the strategy into one of human development instead of elimination whereby people would naturally come to shun these retrogrades.

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  • Raj - USA
    Dec 24, 2012 - 9:20AM

    @Jibran:
    Really appreciate your very clear stance with no if’s or but’s.

    I have watched Bushra Gohar and Zahid Khan few times on talk shows. They have always been consistent on their stand against terrorists. Ms. Bushra Gohar also has taken a clear stand against atrocities on minorities.

    The damage caused by Tsunami is enormous. The young boys of Alu Anday song figured it out correctly. They have confused Pakistanis and provided lot of indirect support to the terrorists. I am sure Pakistanis will give him a resounding defeat in the coming elections, if IK chooses not to boycott the elections as usual.

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  • Jamshyd
    Dec 24, 2012 - 9:38AM

    Yes we need to launch operation but dont forget to send bill of operation to Washington.

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  • Dec 24, 2012 - 9:43AM

    PML-N will un-reasonably continue to oppose, untill and unless one of their tops meets with the same fate as of Mr. Bilour.

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  • Dec 24, 2012 - 9:43AM

    @Jibran: Your comments make a lot of sense. By implication the seminal weakness of successive Pak governments are responsible for the possible interference of the Saudis and other terror-oriented agencies. Unwilling to move with the times and enact laws, the result is a spiritually disfigured and an internally sick Pakistan. Salams

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  • athar mahmood
    Dec 24, 2012 - 9:48AM

    we want a full scale offence against talibans and their supporters in north and south wazirestan.

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  • Noble Tufail
    Dec 24, 2012 - 10:12AM

    Yes to army operation in N wazirastan. Can’t afford to loose more people. Terrorists in N wazirastan has made state within state. Let Pak Army grill them in their holes.

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  • Aijaz Haider
    Dec 24, 2012 - 10:13AM

    @A Shahid: People are already shunning TTP. Our army is fully capable of exterminating TTP but is reluctant to act for reasons known only to ISPR. The COAS must clarify the army’s stand and reluctance on this issue. This will also put an end to the drone issue. Any drones after military action against the terrorists should be brought down. The army of a nuclear-capability state should act like it should. Otherwise Pakistan can do without this useless army.

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  • Mirza
    Dec 24, 2012 - 10:19AM

    @FJ:
    @khalid:
    I agree with both of you 100%. It is time we expose the supporters of Taliban and religious fanatic killers. Make no mistake about it but the rightwing parties and deep state is friends with Taliban that is why only elected secular leaders are targeted while the unelected rightwing leaders are free to move around. The ruling coalition is against Taliban and there should be a vote in the parliament and senate to expose the supporters of terrorists.
    Regards,
    M

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  • H Ahmad
    Dec 24, 2012 - 10:42AM

    “Enough is Enough” that’s what happens when somebody beloved(innocent) dies in such nasty bomb blasts and they reacts the way ANP team is reacting- i am so sure someone from Biloure’s family (if given a chance & if they have the required ” Pushtoon Geyraat”) would put a suicidal jacket on and will be all ready to go out in (so called) taliban’s hideouts and attack-

    People wake up!! this is a war we have to get ourselves out – all what we are witnessing is a reaction of our policies.

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  • Vampire
    Dec 24, 2012 - 10:53AM

    I believe Bushra Gohar will now live in Islamabad till this operation clears all FATA and KPK.

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  • Rustam
    Dec 24, 2012 - 11:31AM

    @Blithe:
    They were not sitting silent like the Imran Khans and Nawaz Sharifs. I think you need to be reminded of the many local leaders of ANP who were targeted in these five years by the Taliban. The current information minister lost his son some two years back. Asfandyar himself was targeted as was Bashir Bilour. One should have a bit longer memory span to comment.

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  • Furqan
    Dec 24, 2012 - 11:34AM

    TTP guys who claimed killing of ANP leaders (and involved in other terrorist activities in the country) lives in South Waziristan, Where, Pak army have already conducted operations and still maintains its presence.

    Again…….Terrorists are from TTP…….and…..TTP lives in Sounth waziristan….. but people are pushing for operation in North Waziristan….. strange enough….can anybody explain, how it make sense???? The only point i could see here is that NW operation only benefits US at expense of Pakistan Army & resources. If we are fighting for our own country we don’t need to go for NW operation(they have never hurt us). Unless, if we think we are fighting a war for US and willing to use our army as mercenary army, then yeah we can go ahead.

    My personal views are that we should not let our Army stuck in on an other front and make more enemies, because the enemy that we have already made in SW (TTP) are enough. All the stupid politicians and their dumbo supporters should understand the gravity of the situation while the Indians should keep ranting as usual.

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  • Clear Black Bag
    Dec 24, 2012 - 12:17PM

    Majority of Pakistani nation would never like to vote for military operation in North Waziristan because military operation in North Waziristan shall be another US’ war furtively conducted on the commandments and directions of the Pakistani leaders’ worldly master USA…..Recommend

  • Clear Black Bag
    Dec 24, 2012 - 12:19PM

    Majority of Pakistani nation would never like to vote for military operation in North Waziristan because military operation in North Waziristan shall be another US’ war furtively conducted on the commandments and directions of the Pakistani leaders’ worldly master USA for more and more $$$$$$$$ as beggary as Coalition Support Fund…..

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  • sgrr
    Dec 24, 2012 - 12:54PM

    Can anyone explain which people are living in N Waziristan, whether these all are Pakistanis or some one else. Have anyone who is commenting against and favour of operation in NW have answer to my quesry in detail.

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  • Gratgy
    Dec 24, 2012 - 1:15PM

    The Army and the people of Pakistan need to decide that it is time to take back their country from the hands of these illiterate brainwashed monsters.

    If your house is on fire, you cannot blame the neighbours for telling you to put it out.

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  • abdul rahim
    Dec 24, 2012 - 1:22PM

    Pakistan army should not go for operation in NW. It will bring the war in Punjab as pak army is mainly compromised on Punjabi.

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  • Feroz
    Dec 24, 2012 - 1:26PM

    No country can ever have a clear consensus on every issue. Put a simple resolution up in Parliament and get it voted on. “Parliament calls on the Military to eliminate all Terrorist groups, their members, financiers and sympathizers from all the territory that comprises Pakistan.”
    Once voted on the resolution has to be sent to the COAS with a clear time line for action.

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  • shakrullah
    Dec 24, 2012 - 1:27PM

    Shahdat of Bashir Bilour has a stern warning for us . Either forge at once a united national front to wipe out the Taliban once for all whether in Fata or Lahore or Karachi or Quetta —– or sit passively to wait for our turn . There was one consolation in case of Shaheed Bilour : there were thousands to mourn his death . But there may none for us when our turn comes .

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  • Khan
    Dec 24, 2012 - 2:30PM

    Nobody has even commented on why and who started this bombing. They should know that the root cause of this killing was the army attack on Lal masjid Islamabad where hundreds of innocent men & women were killed and till today even after more then 5 years we are suffering from the backlash. Since Pakistan came into being in 1947 the Army has been engaged in killing its own people. East Pakistan is an example what happened when the army started killing the Bengalis. 93000 soldiers had to surrender to the Indian Army in a shame. Army action will make the things even worse for the people of KPK and we will be the ones who will suffer the most. These ANP guys will not be here for ever and their Leader is still SCARED to set foot on this soil since the attempted assasittion attack on him a few years ago Shame on them who ask for Army action in NWA>.

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  • SD khan
    Dec 24, 2012 - 4:12PM

    @ Khan
    Who ask you to keep stock of arms in lal masjid and beat people and use those arms against innocent and challenge the rid of government and grasp public library use that land for all those activity and big humiliation is that leader was hiding behind the burqa and try to run away and it seems like you are one of those guys and giving such idiotic explanation for the killing of innocent people.
    Masjid is for prayers, learning good things helping humanity not for seprating hatter keeping arms brain washing innocent children.

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  • Munshikaka
    Dec 24, 2012 - 4:52PM

    @Zohaib:
    India dreamed of splitting East and West Pakistan to make separate countries. 40 years ago that dream came true. You should really worry if India is dreaming about federation of Pakistan and decide which new country you will live in.

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  • Asad Murtaza
    Dec 24, 2012 - 5:05PM

    Taliban should leave Pakistan alone. The daily attacks on Pakistanis have damaged the image of Islam more than the ‘good’ things Taliban have done for Islam. We need to take a stance against these enemies

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  • Haroon Naseem
    Dec 24, 2012 - 5:07PM

    Yes, i agree with those who vow to eliminate such terrorists from our soil either they are Foreign Agents or Locals they should be burried underneath…..it’s already too late ….. that’s why we are seeing all this happening around us.

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  • abdul rahim
    Dec 24, 2012 - 5:22PM

    ANP leaders should present themselves in formerly NWFP first. They mostly spend time in Islamabad and foriegn countries and now they talk about bravery. If they really care for humanity then they should talk about hazara people too as they are oppress.ed by ANPRecommend

  • tariq khan
    Dec 24, 2012 - 5:45PM

    PML (N), JI and PTI should clarify that they are with people of Pakistan or with Chechen s, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Arabs and Afghani Taliban who are attacking Pakistan on daily basis ???????

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  • A Shahid
    Dec 24, 2012 - 5:57PM

    @Aijaz Haider

    Dude, no army has defeated an insurgency in the history of the world unless the people from whom the terrorists operate within turn on them unequivocally. The history is replete with numerous examples on it. Napoleon was left irreparably emaciated and ruined by a meek Spanish insurgency when he was singlehandedly vanquishing the mighty English, Russian, German & Austrian alliance. There is simply too much support from the general public to the ideals propagated by these religious barbarians. Besides, I have not seen a successful plan by any army in the world to counter suicide bombers which these militants are able to produce at will due to public support. Lets save this country from further carnage and havoc and live to fight another day when our institutions are stronger, more effective and the leadership is selfless and visionary.

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  • Bangash
    Dec 24, 2012 - 10:58PM

    Taliban and mullah have won this war. Best for ANP and others in the firing line to take full measures to protect themselves. There is not going to be anymore efforts against terrorism as the Pakistani Establishment wants to get out of this fight and get back to real-estate and breakfast cereals.

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  • Enlightened
    Dec 24, 2012 - 11:03PM

    The consensus for military operation in NW has already been reached on this ET forum. It is quite evident that people of Pakistan can no longer bear any more violence which has been unleashed by the TTP for many years. The military is clearly taking cover behind the present govt and the opposition parties to avoid launching of operations against Taliban anywhere in Pakistan which has created anarchy like situation in Pakistan. Congratulations to ANP for taking brave and bold stand against the barbarians while others are putting bangles and don’t deserve to lead the country in the next elections. Shame on Pak army who lost all external wars against India and also responsible for loss of half of the country is now on the brink of losing internal war as well against Talibans. The military with its inaction against the militants and allowing its fellow countrymen to be treated like sacrificial goats would result in an anarchy in the whole country, leading to further disintegration of Pakistan.

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  • qaisar
    Dec 25, 2012 - 8:32AM

    This is the out come of their Policy For Power with the coalition with army policy ANP want Power in any cost thus this will be the result. of Course Liberal and progressive mind setup are not accept for the Army Generals. thus they will kill them. and the Operation against their own setup is impssible for them.
    we demand clear and positive step against extremist. Good and bad concept should be finish. all of them are extremist and they don’t want progressive Pukhtunistan.

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  • Logical Thought
    Dec 25, 2012 - 4:10PM

    Is every place other than North Waziristan free of terror planners? Are the Malala attempt and Bashir bilour assassination blamed on Haqqani network and hence NW ? if we move to totally bomb the NW region to stone age is there a guarantee that Pakistanis will be safe? Were 12 years of full international force enough to end this menace in Afghanistan where even Kabul Green zone is being attacked repeatedly? If answer to any of these questions is “Yes” then go destroy NW but rest assured then we will open a front that we will never be able to close it. Rational thinking is required.

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  • b
    Dec 29, 2012 - 10:18PM

    @Blithe:
    o mr ANP doing in advance what will be on your aas also beared by jamat islami and taliban… they want to be clear that….is itn,t?

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