Just days after the US government committed to providing the Pakistani military more than $2 billion in aid, the top general in the northwest said an operation in North Waziristan won’t happen anytime soon. From Dawn:
Pakistan will consider mounting an anti-Taliban offensive in North Waziristan only when other tribal areas are stabilised, a senior military officer said on Tuesday, a position likely to anger ally Washington.
Pakistan has resisted mounting US pressure to launch a major operation in North Waziristan to eliminate the Haqqani Taliban faction.
Pakistan’s army has repeatedly said it is too stretched fighting Taliban insurgents in other forbidding mountaineous regions, and that only it can determine if and when to strike.
Lt.-Gen Asif Yasin Malik, the main military commander for the northwest, said it would take at least six months to clear militants from Bajaur and Mohmand, two of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal agencies.
“What we have to do is stabilise the whole area. I have a very large area in my command,” he told reporters on a trip to Orakzai agency. “The issue is I need more resources.”
There are already six brigades in North Waziristan which carry out daily operations, he said.
Surprising, isn’t it?
And as we noted, the Pakistani military is not carrying out operations in North Waziristan.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.