Friday, October 29, 2010

It is Pakistan Army, don't take it for granted.....


For how long will you continue to take them for granted? Will they go ahead with every command that you shout at them? It is time US realized it is no longer the army under Musharraf who was ready to do their bidding as a quid pro quo for recognition of his unconstitutional rule in Pakistan.  Operation in North Waziristan may be on the future “to-do” list but has never been a top priority with Pakistan and it will not go ahead with it until it had consolidated its gains in the South Waziristan Agency.
International media is crying hoarse that Pakistani military is resisting pressure to begin a promised offensive against Taliban sanctuaries in its border region. This has thrown into doubt the success of the US-led offensive on Kandahar. The offensive on the Taliban heartland is seen as crucial to turning the tide on the insurgency in Afghanistan and forcing the Taliban leaders into peace talks. This would allow the Obama administration to stick to its deadline of next July to begin withdrawing extra troops.
The Australian has reported that an intelligence assessment leaked to The Washington Post said the offensive's impact on the Taliban had been negligible because fighters could simply retreat to Pakistani sanctuaries and wait until the drawdown begins next northern summer.
The Newspaper says that Pakistan troops’ commander in Peshawar, told this was not the right time to mount an offensive in North Waziristan because his troops were committed elsewhere in Pakistan.
"We are not afraid of going into North Waziristan, but there is always a right time for any action," he is reported to have said.
Islamabad had earlier promised Washington it would mount the offensive, but refused to give a time frame, despite the pressure to act now and squeeze the insurgents on both sides of the border. Pakistani officials said they were already overstretched fighting the Pakistani Taliban in South Waziristan, the Swat Valley and other regions, and could not risk losing ground to the militants. "We cannot start the operation on the US pressure," said another senior Pakistani army official. "We have our own priorities."
One senior Pakistani diplomat said the Pakistan army was doing everything within its power against the Taliban and al-Qa'ida."We are providing real-time intelligence to NATO on the border," he said. "The Pakistan army push since last year has retaken Swat, Malakand and South Waziristan."
In Washington, however, there is increasing anger at Pakistan's reluctance to take on groups such as the Haqqani network, which its powerful intelligence agency is accused of backing despite military aid, including a $US2 billion package announced last week. Zalmay Khalilzad, the former US ambassador to Afghanistan, urged Washington to consider military action inside Pakistan "with or without their consent" if Islamabad did not shut off support for the groups. Pakistan considers the groups a key asset for maintaining influence in Afghanistan against that of arch-rival India. What US has failed to realize that $2 billion is not contract money for putting your forces in to un-necessary risks. This does not even pay for destruction of physical infrastructure as a result of logistic supplies for US troops.
"Pakistani military leaders believe that our current surge will be the last push before we begin a face-saving troop drawdown next July," he wrote in The New York Times last week.
"They are confident that if they continue to frustrate our military and political strategy, even actively impede reconciliation between Kabul and Taliban groups willing to make peace, pro-Pakistani forces will have the upper hand in Afghanistan after the United States departs."
Officials said the Taliban had adopted the refrain "the end is near", coined by their leader, Mullah Omar, to describe the drawdown next year.

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