Gen Allen-Gen Kayani meeting: Washington offers joint offensive against TTP

Published: June 28, 2012
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An American official
clarified that a joint
operation does not
mean US boots on
Pakistani soil.

An American official clarified that a joint operation does not mean US boots on Pakistani soil.

ISLAMABAD: 

The US made an offer to Pakistan to conduct a joint military offensive against the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Pak-Afghan border region, in a move indicating that the two estranged allies have sought to cooperate in specific areas despite worsening ties.

However, the offer is linked with the Pakistani military agreeing to eliminate alleged sanctuaries of the Haqqani network on its side of the border, diplomatic sources revealed.

The idea was discussed in talks between US Gen John Allen, who is leading Nato-led US forces in Afghanistan, and Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, in Rawalpindi on Wednesday.

An American official, privy to the development, told The Express Tribune that the US was willing to address Pakistan’s concerns on the cross border incursions blamed on the TTP.

The official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to media on the sensitive subject, said that US and Pakistani forces could conduct a joint operation in the border areas against the banned group.

However, he clarified that a joint operation does not mean US boots on Pakistani soil. “If the two sides agree, they can coordinate their operation to achieve the desired results,” the official added.

When contacted, the military refused to say what was discussed in the one-on-one meeting between Gen Allen and Gen Kayani.

An unnamed military official was quoted as telling AFP that Gen Kayani demanded greater efforts from the Americans on stopping cross-border incursions. “It was a routine meeting to discuss border coordination,” a senior Pakistani military official told AFP.

“We also raised the issue of cross-border attacks on the Pakistani military from Afghanistan. We demanded that Isaf (International Security Assistance Force) take action against militant sanctuaries in Afghanistan and eliminate the militant groups involved in cross-border attacks inside Pakistan,” he added.

Pakistan said around 100 Afghan-based militants crossed the border into the northwestern district of Upper Dir on Sunday. Six soldiers were killed and 11 went missing. Pakistani officials said Tuesday that seven of them were beheaded.

On Wednesday, a senior security official admitted that all 17 had in fact been beheaded after the TTP released a video showing the slaughtered heads.

Pakistan military blames the loyalists of Maulana Fazlullah, a cleric who led a two-year Taliban insurgency in the Swat valley before fleeing into Afghanistan to escape an army offensive in 2009.

But both the Afghans and the Americans repeatedly blame Pakistan for not doing more to eliminate havens on its soil, which are used as launch pads for attacks across the border.

Last Friday, Gen Allen pointed fingers at the Haqqani network, allegedly based in North Waziristan Agency, for a 12-hour siege on a lakeside hotel in Kabul that killed 18 people.

A US official described Wednesday’s talks between the two military commanders as ‘constructive’ seeking to overcome the difficulties in the bilateral relationship and promote cooperation between Isaf and the Pakistani military.

(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP)

Published In The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Ordinary Villager
    Jun 28, 2012 - 4:57AM

    I am a Pakistani and I fully endorse this American Statement. Now ball is in Pakistani Court. Are we ready to end the menace of Taliban then we have to cooperate with US and this time US is serious and if we will again make lame excuses and whine about Sovereignty then We are infact protecting our so called Strategic assets which are infact a liability for the whole Nation. I hope Pakistani Army will cede to this Demand of Americans otherwise serious questions will rise about role of Pakistani Army as Protectors of Taliban rather than as Protectors of Pakistani people. Dont Listen to Imran or Jamaat Islami to have a dialogue with TTP or any form of Taliban and go for full scale Operation and make Afghanistan and Pakistan a better place not only for Today but secure it for the Future as well and end the menace of Taliban for goodRecommend

  • Imran Con
    Jun 28, 2012 - 5:01AM

    Joint operations have seemed like common sense for years, so while it’d be nice to get rid of the psychos, it’s hard to get your hopes up of anything coming of it. While I may have a negative opinion of Pakistan’s both known and probable actions, I dislike TTP’s way of doing things far more. The clash between the US and Pakistan has some valid motivation behind it but after TTP announcing their Afghanistan safe havens with the addition of their timing, I can’t help but get the feeling they have intentions of consciously and deliberately escalating that clash for their benefit. It takes the fun out of it.

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  • Omer
    Jun 28, 2012 - 6:13AM

    Well, they should take up this offer if it is genuine. But I think, India and Afghan government will their camps in Afghanistan to flee before the offensive. Best is to destroy these camps through missiles.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 28, 2012 - 8:49AM

    This proposal is the most fair and treats Pakistan on equal level. It is going to prove once and for all that Pakistan is not playing two faced and is sincere in its fight against the terrorists. The ball is once again in Pakistani court to prove their intentions and get rid of terrorists with the free help from the NATO and US.

    Recommend

  • Butt
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:38AM

    He will not do it. Haqqani Network is a buffer between them to keep on running the country or loose their authority. As for the people of Pakistan, they are secondary, rule and not people.

    Recommend

  • vasan
    Jun 28, 2012 - 10:13AM

    Fair deal. Pakistan’s acceptance or refusal will reveal its true colours. It will solve the puzzles of Pakistan’s support to the Haqqani group, accused US role in TTP’s attacks etc. On the other hand, the snakes will all join together and US PAK combine can demolish them once and for all.

    Recommend

  • China
    Jun 28, 2012 - 12:01PM

    hahahahaha. what a joke, joint operations, eleminating what they have created and eliminating the group which has all US support. come on Guys, US and NATO, with all the technology could not secure even Kabul, they could not eliminate people fighting them in Afghanistan, I am Afghan, i know how freely Taliban move around in Afghanistan, i Know how these foreign Barbarians are hated. this joint operation is nothing but just another paradigm shift. so people wake up.

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  • Jun 28, 2012 - 2:08PM

    @vasan:

    Pakistan will refuse this deal. Just wait and watch.

    They love the idea of control of Afghanistan through ant-India proxies too much, One.

    Two, they will be afraid of annoying a very powerful group of Militants and will be scared that like TTP they will turn on them too. (Haqqanis will turn on them eventually, but guys in power in Pakistan are not rational people; driven by fear and the allure of power, even if it is over a failed country like Afghanistan).

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  • Basit
    Jun 29, 2012 - 4:51AM

    The last time we agreed for joint operation, Pak Army completed its side of the deal while the American ran away from Kunar and Nuristan,

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  • Jun 29, 2012 - 6:49AM

    It’s official: Gen Allen’s offer is Pakistan’s Last Chance for national survival. On the other hand, quite a few heads may roll as the professional incompetence of several Pakistani commanders will surely be revealed in such a large-scale joint operation. How will Pakistan choose, then?

    Recommend

  • You Said It
    Jun 29, 2012 - 8:32AM

    This is beautiful. Gen Allen must be congratulated on this ingenious move. If Pakistan agrees to the joint operation, the US will have forced the Pak Army to take action against the Haqqanis. If Pakistan refuses, US will have made Pakistan responsible for their failure to take action against the TTP and will let the TTP take its toll on the Pak Army. Heads I Win, Tails You Loose.

    Recommend

  • Basit
    Jun 29, 2012 - 11:59AM

    @Solomon2:
    What about known incompetence of US commanders, despite have all the resources available to them, cannot dislodge Taliban? They are unable to even send their forces to the right province.

    Recommend

  • KiJ
    Jun 29, 2012 - 3:16PM

    It would be a strategic mistake to have American boots in Pakistani grounds, it would be shifting the whole Afghan war into Pakistan territory and having pretext for permanent for US forces on Pakistani soil – the same model as in Saudi…

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  • Jun 29, 2012 - 7:07PM

    Dear China,

    You must realize that it would be in the best interest of Pakistan to see the region thrive in peace. The terrorist groups that you mention above have already claimed thousands of innocent lives in Pakistan alone. Do you expect these terrorists to all the sudden give up their evil agenda, if left alone? We have already seen the damage these terrorists are capable of causing. We must stop them from plaguing the region with their acts of terror. It is sad to say but we have become accustomed to hearing about suicidal attacks throughout Pakistan. We just witnessed the killing of 17 Pakistani soldiers by the TTP. These terrorists had the audacity to then release the video tape in which they showed these brave soldiers beheaded. How long can we allow this to go on? Should we fear retaliation, when they have already crossed all lines? These terrorists regularly attack our forces, and wish to see us clear the way for their terrorist activities. Our failure to address this threat is only preventing us from achieving our shared objectives. We share a common stance against terrorism, and wish to see these terrorist elements eliminated for the sake of stabilizing the region.

    Recommend

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