‘No immediate plans for operation’

Published: October 15, 2010
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Military official says there are no immediate plans for an operation in North Waziristan. PHOTO: AFP

Military official says there are no immediate plans for an operation in North Waziristan. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Overstretched with consolidating the gains of previous campaigns against militancy, the Pakistan Army has no immediate plans to launch an offensive in the North Waziristan Agency, which the Americans consider the epicentre of al Qaeda.

A military official told The Express Tribune here on Thursday that the operation in North Waziristan would be launched only if it is in Pakistan’s ‘interest.’ His comments came after US President Barack Obama’s top military adviser said the Pakistan Army had pledged to go after militants in North Waziristan, which the US believes is harbouring al Qaeda.

“We have never said that we won’t launch an operation in North Waziristan, but its timing will be decided by Pakistan alone,” said the military official, requesting anonymity. He said the military had already been overstretched in six tribal agencies and their engagement in relief activities in flood-hit areas made it difficult for them to open another front.

“But this is one problem, the real issue is that we have to determine whether going after the militants in North Waziristan at this stage serves our interest,” he said. It is widely believed that Pakistan’s reluctance to go after militants such as the Haqqani network in North Waziristan stems from the fact that the military does not see it as a direct threat to their interests.

The primary focus of the militants in North Waziristan is to target the US-led Nato forces in neighbouring Afghanistan. That was the reason, the Americans are pushing Pakistan to launch the offensive in North Waziristan, remarked another military official.

Reacting to US Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen’s statement, Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said the offensive will be launched, not at Washington’s behest, but in view of the country’s plans and priorities. “It will be our own decision as to when and how to proceed in North Waziristan,” Basit added.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Ali Haider
    Oct 15, 2010 - 10:01AM

    Who is this ‘brave’ officer that wants to remain anonymous? Recommend

  • Oct 15, 2010 - 11:13AM

    I like this. I like this very much!!!Recommend

  • Oct 15, 2010 - 11:58AM

    The fact is that,
    it must be admit,
    the friendship has taken us to the brink.Recommend

  • Oct 15, 2010 - 12:48PM

    No matter that the militants in N. Waziristan have killed Pakistani jawans and civilians and lord over Pakistani citizens in the area they control. they serve our interest! More power to them!Recommend

  • faraz
    Oct 15, 2010 - 2:22PM

    We are the only nation in history which declares indoctrinated teenagers as its strategic assets; i dont understand what threats do we face that we need non-state elements to further augment the million men strong military apparatus? Recommend

  • Oct 15, 2010 - 9:01PM

    Even if Pakistan starts an offensive against Taliban in North Waziristan, it will be an eye wash. They are not going to destroy their ‘strategic assets’ that will come handy after the departure of west from Afghanistan. US is way too optimistic about Pakistan’s military forays into Taliban strong holds. This is not happening. Recommend

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