Peshawar Corps Commander Lt General Khalid Rabbani rejected reports of a joint operation in North Waziristan, saying that Pakistani security forces would not allow any foreign “footprints” on its soil.
Talking to senior journalists at an iftar held at the Officers Mess in Peshawar, the corps commander said that Pakistani security forces were not only prepared but capable for such operations on their own.
The Pakistan Army had launched a military offensive in the volatile South Waziristan Agency and Malakand Division without foreign assistance, he said.
“If there would be an operation in North Waziristan that too would be carried out without any foreign assistance.”
Rabbani said the armed forces could not spearhead an operation unanimously, and that the government would decide on launching an operation.
“It would be like when the government had announced the launch of Rah-e-Rast operation in Swat and Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan,” he said.
“We are fully prepared for the operation, the timeframe for which would be chalked out by the government,” the commander said, adding that the decision would not be considered under the dictation of foreign powers.
He also dismissed a news item published in the US media regarding a sting operation by Pakistan and the US in North Waziristan. “We have our own affairs and decisions,” he added.
Rabbani said that the security situation in Malakand, Bajaur and Mohmand Agency was under control. “Even cases of kidnappings have decreased in these areas,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2012.