US must seal Afghan border for Waziristan push: Pakistani official

By AFP
Published: August 11, 2012
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Without protecting the porous, mountainous border, militants would simply escape into Afghanistan, says official. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Without protecting the porous, mountainous border, militants would simply escape into Afghanistan, says official. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has told Washington that US forces must seal the Afghan border in the event of any offensive against the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network in North Waziristan, an official said Saturday.

The Haqqanis, blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan and whose leaders are understood to be based in the Pakistani tribal district, is one of the thorniest issues between Islamabad and Washington.

“The Americans have been repeatedly told that they will have to seal off the border on the Afghan side whenever an operation is launched in North Waziristan,” a senior Pakistani security official told AFP.

Without protecting the porous, mountainous border, militants would simply escape into Afghanistan, where Pakistan has no writ, the official explained.

He claimed that Americans have “never been encouraging on this point” and accused them of failing to seal the border when operations were planned twice before in North Waziristan.

On August 3, The Wall Street Journal reported that Pakistani and US officials were considering joint counter-terrorism campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan against the Haqqanis and Taliban fighters who attack Pakistan.

The paper said the campaigns would mark an upturn in cooperation after more than a year of rancorous relations and stamp out major threats facing each country.

Pakistani officials later denied any agreement with the United States for a joint operation in North Waziristan, and said “routine” actions on each side of the border “should not be mistaken for ‘joint operations'”.

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Reader Comments (42)

  • Zaikam
    Aug 11, 2012 - 1:27PM

    There is no point going for another operation. We as a nation are sick and tired of these operations. Focus on economy, education and prosperity. Americans are paying what they sew decades back and are continuing to do so even today.

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  • hassan akbar
    Aug 11, 2012 - 1:37PM

    How can our army kill our muslim brothers in waziristan.

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  • Ali
    Aug 11, 2012 - 1:55PM

    Army ran the country much better than these politicians. Before 2007, there was no load shedding, jobs were available, and economy was growing. Its better if army takes over again and send nawaz and zardari to their respective foreign destinations.

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  • Engr.Waqas
    Aug 11, 2012 - 1:56PM

    but America is not our friend , but these tribesmen are !! so don’t kill friends .

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  • Aug 11, 2012 - 2:12PM

    I don’t know what sort of logic is that? If Pakistan is unable to secure her border even for the Fazlullah as they claim, how should it be for Afghans or Coalition forces to secure that porous boarder?

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  • Anwar Sheikh
    Aug 11, 2012 - 2:12PM

    whatever it is in the end just dont compromise on borders..

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  • Cautious
    Aug 11, 2012 - 2:18PM

    Rubbish. Pakistan has had ten years to mount a significant offensive in N Waziristan and the World is still waiting. Your one and only significant offensive has been in S Waziristan and hindsight makes it clear that it was largely a PR show – months of preparation and news conferences – deploying a small fraction of your military – killing/capturing no leaders or important Taliban – no attempt to block the Taliban from retreating – and sending a huge bill to the USA.

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  • Asad Malik
    Aug 11, 2012 - 2:19PM

    @Zaikam: No we aren’t. We need to get rid of the scum so we can properly focus on everything else.

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  • Asad Malik
    Aug 11, 2012 - 2:20PM

    @hassan akbar: They aren’t muslims. Or your definition of what constitutes a muslims is pretty messed up

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  • Complex
    Aug 11, 2012 - 2:40PM

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/255629.html

    I think 3rd world war has started and Pakistan/Pakistanis should really open their eyes.

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  • Aussie-Paki
    Aug 11, 2012 - 2:40PM

    Ignornance is apparent in the reader comments above. Some clarifications below:

    1) it’s known that terrorist networks are based in the tribal area, so why should PK/US not go after them? They claim to be Muslims while killing dozens of Pakistani citizens daily, should we really be bothered then if the militants refer to them as Muslims?

    2) Tribal heads provide safe heavens for the militants, the very militants causing anarchy in Pakistan, these actions make the militants and the rogue tribesmen PK’s friends? Think again.

    3) It is in Pakistan’s interest to pursue and kill the terrorists in the tribal areas,US is helping PK achieve this goal. Stop blaming/cursing NATO/US for their help!

    4) Peace in PK/Afghanistan is in the interest of the respe give countries(surprising I need to state this!) and also in the interest of US, let us stop calling for abandonment of such operations.

    I fail to understand why PK public dislikes US /NATO so very
    Much, these guys are the real allies. Let us support them. Think as a human first!

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  • Khalid
    Aug 11, 2012 - 2:45PM

    These Tribesmen our friend ? then why these suicide bombers, than why do they challenge the writ of Pakistani goverment, why are they fighting and killing our army rangers jawans and police and politicians and there family, why are they destroying girls schools and colleges, why are they refusing polio vaccines, they were even behind murder of BB, is this all because of drone attacks and USA support?? there is more to it,about time the flag of Pakistan is flown there and respected . Friends ????

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  • Umer
    Aug 11, 2012 - 2:51PM

    US must seal Afghan border for Waziristan push: Pakistani official

    So now it’s US’s responsibility to protect our borders? Why doesn’t the Army first block the border on waziristan side before the operation? Why do we keep giving the message that our own very expensive forces are incapable of defending every inch of our border and land?

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  • Zaikam
    Aug 11, 2012 - 3:06PM

    Aussie-Paki: These terrorists were once heroes in 80s when they were fighting for the freedom and prosperity of the ‘civilized world’. Suddenly they went insane and started killing people after 2000. These people have always been involved in suicide bombings in Pakistan. They were always against Pakistan. Don’t just rant here whatever media feeds you.

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  • Atif Abdullah
    Aug 11, 2012 - 3:27PM

    I do not understand why Pakistan has to bother where if militant escape to Afghanistan.We (Pakistani) should flush these terrorist from our land.Whether they die or end up in heal should not be consideration in flushing militants out of waziristan or Pakistan. Even drop of Pakistani boiled spilled should be revenged with vengeance. Pak Army get my Pakistan back,gets image and self respect back.

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Aug 11, 2012 - 4:24PM

    How realistic is Pakistan’s demanding the US to seal the Afghan border? This region is mountainous and the borders are porous. Besides the militants know their terrain well and can always find a way to escape.

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  • antanu g
    Aug 11, 2012 - 4:36PM

    @j. von hettlingen:
    your logic equally applies for pakistan also. by your standard pakistan can not be held responsible if terrorists cross the border into afghanistan.

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  • Imran Con
    Aug 11, 2012 - 4:41PM

    @Zaikam:
    Funny that you place blame on the US over Pakistan for this sewing you speak of. Did you know the US had little to no actual contact with the groups? They simply funded things and Pakistan did the rest. Not that I personally put the blame solely on one side even knowing that. Pakistan had the role of creating them and the US support maintained their existence.
    Also…
    “We as a nation are sick and tired of these operations. Focus on economy, education and prosperity.”
    Saying that either means you didn’t think it through fully or you still have no idea what the situation is, which is a little sad considering you’ve had 10 years to take the hint from even the terrorist statements.
    Guess what economy, education and prosperity have in common? They’re primary targets.
    Economy: their very existence hinders that in regard to people who you’d be doing business with to improve that.
    Education: Do I really have to point out their habit of targeting schools?
    Prosperity: Again, their existence hinders that but that’s not all. Their goal requires they interfere as much as possible to not let that happen.
    It would be a constant cycle of one step forward 10 steps back without operations. How that ends up going over Pakistani’s heads is beyond me. It only goes to show how you constantly get yourselves in nasty situations.

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  • Umer
    Aug 11, 2012 - 4:42PM

    US must seal Afghan border for Waziristan push: Pakistani official

    An excuse not to do the operation. Put a condition which is unachievable.

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  • Javed Afridi
    Aug 11, 2012 - 4:53PM

    @Aussie-Paki:
    1) How many of the Gitmo detainees were you able to convict for terrorism before being so sure for terror networks in tribal areas. Links of the ones killing civilians in Pakistan point towards the west (You know the good and bad Taliban for the respective sides).
    2) The people you call ‘rogue tribesmen’, if are at all providing shelter to ‘someone’ are doing it out of helplessness, while US and rest of the West have been doing this out of ‘will’ … so whom do you think are friends to your so-called terrorists.
    3) No, it’s not and it has never been in the interest of Pakistan to kill it’s own people, who are unable to oust the ‘guests’ once brought by the US itself. It has always been a US war for it’s economy rather than a ‘war on terror’. ‘War is terrorism in itself, how can there be a war on terror?’
    4) Exactly, you need not tell us that peace is in the best interest of PK/Afghanistan. What you can however do is to convince US to leave these two in Peace, but he won’t as it doesn’t serve well with that country.
    And in the end I must say you can only be naive if you fail to understand why PK public dislikes US /NATO so very Much.

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  • Ozymandias
    Aug 11, 2012 - 4:56PM

    @j. von hettlingen:
    Why then is it realistic for the US to expect Pakistan to prevent cross-border movement?

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  • A Pakistani
    Aug 11, 2012 - 5:18PM

    @Aussie-Paki:

    The is not a question of Haqqanis being Muslims or not, rather one’s own safety and interests. Nobody wants flood diverted towards his home to save the others. At present they are like wasps dormant in their nest, from a Pakistani perspective, and America wants us to wake them up and face the music. Simple as that. Pakistan is certainly ought to watch its interests first rather than anybody else.

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  • Aug 11, 2012 - 5:25PM

    US strategy is brilliant!

    First they move out of Kunar and other areas just so that the TTP fleeing Pakistan can find a safe haven.

    For years US has been asking Pakistan to “seal borders” and prevent Haqqanis from crossing over into Afghanistan. Pakistan had to be taught a lesson, US thought.

    US promptly withdraws from areas adjacent to Pakistan and now Pakistan is speaking US’s language.

    Pakistan was made to taste its own medicine and oh ho ho, its bitter!

    Now, TTP is much more dangerous to Pakistan from Afghanistan, than Haqqanis are to US from Pakistan.

    Only if Pakistan refused to shelter Terrorists and had done the right thing, this wouldn’t have happened. But, Pakistan is not known to do Right Things, isn’t it!

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  • Yousaf
    Aug 11, 2012 - 5:34PM

    For the same reason that the US demands the Pakistani’s to do the same on their side of the border. When the US is attacked from the pakistani side by the haqanni’s a huge hue and cry. When the Fazlulah gang attacks pakistan from the American side its not their responsibility.

    When the pakistanis go into N-W the push the terrorists through wards the afghan borders, so if there is no one to await them there than all the efforts are in vain.

    Btw should we expects a huge flareup of attacks within Pakistan this time around? Recommend

  • S
    Aug 11, 2012 - 5:34PM

    Totally agree with @Zaikam and @Hassan Akbar

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  • A Pakistani
    Aug 11, 2012 - 5:40PM

    @Umer:

    “So now it’s US’s responsibility to protect our borders? Why doesn’t the Army first block the border on waziristan side before the operation?”

    Brother your logic and reasoning always amazes me. Pak-Afgan border is common border between the two countries and hence the responsibility to protect its side is also equal. Following your logic, it was the Afghan Government’s failure in the first place for not stopping these extremists at border and letting them slip into Pakistan. Therefore, Pakistan is not responsible for the Afghan Government’s persistent failure to protect their side of the border and apprehend them while crossing again into Afghanistan.

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  • A Pakistani
    Aug 11, 2012 - 5:47PM

    @j. von hettlingen:

    “How realistic is Pakistan’s demanding the US to seal the Afghan border? This region is mountainous and the borders are porous. Besides the militants know their terrain well and can always find a way to escape.”

    Then why so much hue and cry for the military operation. Pakistan just can ask them to leave.

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  • G. Din
    Aug 11, 2012 - 5:57PM

    @Ozymandias: to j. von hettlingen:
    “Why then is it realistic for the US to expect Pakistan to prevent cross-border movement?”
    US is expecting Pakistan to prevent cross-border movement to prove that it indeed has sovereignty over its side of the border. If it (Pakistan) fails to do so, it would not be in any position to protest US stepping into Pakistan to do what needs to be done., when it (US) considers it expedient to do so.
    Similarly, nothing prevents Pakistan from flushing out the rogue elements, kill them or chase them over the border into Afghanistan and then to hold its position on its side of the border. This Pakistan would not do or want to do because they are really its own assets. Pakistan, as usual, resorts to hoodwinking US and deludes itself into thinking that it won’t be caught once again attempting a double-cross. ” Aadhatan majboor”

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  • freeman
    Aug 11, 2012 - 6:27PM

    @hassan akbar:
    Like our muslim brothers are killing our muslim brothers through the length and width of the country.

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  • sial
    Aug 11, 2012 - 6:46PM

    its nato and america who decided that they want to invade afghanistan,that means its your duty to bring sufficient force to seal afghanistan from each of its corner.firstly you let them escape from afghanistan and now when they are hitting you back for your misscalculations,. you are blamming pakistan for your all defeats.PLEASE KEEP IN YOUR MIND YOU ATTACKED AFGHANISTAN.Accept the fact that you have been defeated by these unarmed gorrilas with all of your advanced machinery

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  • ather
    Aug 11, 2012 - 7:01PM

    love pak army. their strong stance is the only thing that keeping pakistan alive.

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  • Babbarsher khan
    Aug 11, 2012 - 7:24PM

    US and the rest of the world are tired of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Wrong or right they will pull out of Afghanistan as soon as logistically possible. There is no point for Pakistan to spend to much of the time in discuss success or failure of the West’s Afghan adventure, history will judge it, scholars will assess it from their perspective. Pakistani state is in real danger of collapsing under the threat of internal sectarian hatred and religious extremist threat emanating from inside and from its border with Afghanistan. We can not depend too much on others to defend our sovereignty and our survival as a nation. If we continue to behave like outlaws as we have been doing for decades the West is capable of sending us back (to quote Armitage) to the Stone Age! Next action in Afghanistan/Pakistan will be not that much ground based as it will be sky based. We along with our strategic assets will be reduced to ruins by the drones flying into our space from aircraft careers based in Arabian sea.

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  • Nand
    Aug 11, 2012 - 7:26PM

    @A Pakistani: “At present they are like wasps”. – Haqqanis.
    So you are calling establishment’s assets “wasps”. Nice to know that.

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  • Ninja
    Aug 11, 2012 - 7:53PM

    If US seals the borders how would they send militants to Pakistan ;)

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  • Wellwisher
    Aug 11, 2012 - 7:56PM

    @hassan akbar:
    Did you forget East Pakistan? Were they not muslims?

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  • Mohammad ali
    Aug 11, 2012 - 9:30PM

    Don’t massacre Muslims brothers for America.Don’t forget America also snubbed Talibans when Russia attacked them.

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  • Enlightened
    Aug 11, 2012 - 11:15PM

    Pakistan should have launched this operation long time back but could not do so being their strategic assets and even now it is reluctant to do so by putting difficult condtions on US so as to make this operation a non-starter.

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  • javeed
    Aug 11, 2012 - 11:45PM

    @hassan akbar: Yours these so called brothers slaughters thousands of forces men and civilian is this brother hood they are against every pakistani who is not talib

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Aug 11, 2012 - 11:46PM

    @hassan akbar:
    “How can our army kill our muslim brothers in waziristan”

    Compulsion of Interrnationally recognized principle. You cannot carry out cross border attacks on a Govt. recognized by UN. We may find it distasteful and unacceptable and the Afghan Govt. may be a USA puppet, but that does not change the fact. Sad but true.

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  • G. Din
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:03AM

    @Babbarsher khan:
    “If we continue to behave like outlaws as we have been doing for decades the West is capable of sending us back (to quote Armitage) to the Stone Age!”
    Good thinking! Remember there is much too much sophisticated ordnance of all kinds being produced for all sorts of reasons, not just because there is a great need for it. What better purpose will be served by expending some of it in trying to discipline a rogue outlaw nation to behave responsibly as a responsible citizen-state of the world and not to terrorize its neighours and the world? If one state is dispatched to the Stone Age so that the rest of the world breathes easy, that is a laudable effort, isn’t it? If Nazi Germany had not been reduced to rubble, a resurgent, prosperous Europe would never have come into being!

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  • sial
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:04AM

    @Enlightened: we have to live with them you can run away but we cant they are our neighbours.these people not only have religeos but also r the relatives of almost 30% of pakistan.these people r in war for the last sixty years and have defeated three super powers in this prosses.leave the enemosity a side and think of solving the problem.you have miss calculated them.if any body who can solve them is pakistan but the prolem is they are not allowing americans to build their military camps there.
    Now suggess some solutions .we r listenning

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Aug 12, 2012 - 11:53AM

    Borders should be sealed just as they are sealed with India and other neighbors. Why Afghanistan should be an exceptional case? If we talk about relationships across the border then there are many with Iran and India. Our country is suffering only due to the open ended borders with Afghanistan in the name of religion and relationships. Why should we feel unsafe due to these reasons. Let Afghans decide within their own borders what they feel better for their country while we should mind our own business which is going out of control at all levels both governance and institutions.

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