Operation ends in Hangu; Government opts for negotiations in northwest

The Pakistani military has halted the operation against the Taliban in the Northwest Frontier Province district of Hangu just seven days after it began. The operation was ended just one day after the government initiated peace negotiations with the Taliban, and the Taliban again threatened the provincial government with violence.

The “objectives of the operation have been achieved,” according to the Associated Press of Pakistan, the official news service of the Pakistani government. The military claims the writ of the government has been restored and the “miscreants were flushed out” of the district. Twenty Taliban fighters were killed and 30 detained, the military claimed.

The military launched the Hangu offensive on July 16 after the Taliban conducted numerous attacks, including an ambush that killed 15 soldiers and a siege of a police station by more than 400 fighters.

The peace negotiations and the end of the Hangu offensive came after the Taliban again threatened to attack the provincial government due to operations in Hangu, Swat, and Khyber. “The government has breached the peace agreement with the continuation of the operation in Hangu,” Muslim Khan, a spokesman for the Taliban told Adnkronos International. The Taliban are gathering in Swat and other areas and are preparing to attack if ordered.

The government unanimously backs negotiations with the Taliban

The end of the Hangu offensive happened on the same day the Pakistani federal government’s coalition partners and military and intelligence chiefs met to discuss the deteriorating security situation in northwestern Pakistan. The government decided that negotiations would take primacy when dealing with the security situation.

“The main thrust of the coalition partners’ multi-pronged strategy to counter the challenge of extremism will be political engagement of the people,” the government stated in a press release. “Local militants who want to surrender before the authorities would be rehabilitated and brought into mainstream of the society to lead a peaceful life,” the Associated Press of Pakistan reported, paraphrasing Sherry Rehman, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting.

But the Taliban have not laid down their weapons after conducting peace talks with the government, nor have they stopped attack on the Pakistani military or across the border in Afghanistan.

The security situation in northwestern Pakistan and in neighboring Afghanistan has rapidly deteriorated since the government initiated its latest round of peace accords with the Taliban and allied extremists in the tribal areas and settled districts in the Northwest Frontier Province. Peace agreements have been signed with the Taliban in North Waziristan, Swat, Dir, Bajaur, Malakand, Mohmand, Khyber, and Orakzai.

Negotiations are under way in South Waziristan, Kohat, and Mardan. The Taliban have violated the terms of these agreements in every region where accords have been signed.

The Taliban, al Qaeda, and allied terrorist groups have established more than 100 terror camps in the tribal areas and the Northwest Frontier Province, US intelligence officials have told The Long War Journal.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.



  • don juice says:

    to tell u the truth this is not a surprise and i really think pakistan dosent have a strategy and they clearly dont know what the hell they are doing

  • KaneKaizer says:

    Ok, 20 killed and 30 captured. Better than nothing, but the Taliban’s total numbers weren’t even dented. Pakistan will have to do better than that.

  • Alex says:

    For all intents and purposes, the Taliban and al-Qaeda seem like basically the same entity in that part of the world.

  • bard207 says:

    No idea why Pakistan tries to keep up the facade.
    Pakistan would never compromise with militants

  • What is the incentive for Pakistan to do differently?They are getting 8 F16s, triple amount of aid(passed with alacrcity by congress) and many more goodies for killing americans and Afghans and Indians. The texan oil lobby has given control of american interests to Saudi blakc goggled princes. Pakistan army, alqueada are just the sword arm of Saudies.

  • Raj Kumar says:

    I would add Pakistani’s to your list because currently their is no way of differentiating between the 3 entities.
    You are so correct!!!


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