Interior Minister Rehman Malik has just informed us that the Pakistani military is not about to launch an operation in North Waziristan following the Movement of the Taliban’s admitted assassination attempt against Malala, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in Swat. From Dawn‘s article today (from which the title of this post was shamelessly stolen):
Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Monday said that no preparations were underway for a military operation in the North Waziristan tribal region, DawnNews reported.
He said the impression that a military operation for North Waziristan was being planned in the wake of the attack on Malala was wrong.
Malik made the statement just four days after teasing everyone (or at least those still gullible to the Pakistani promise of a North Waziristan operation) when he claimed that the government was considering launching an operation in the tribal agency as it was “a hub of terrorists.” Maybe North Waziristan is no longer “a hub of terrorists”?
I’ve written extensively on Pakistan’s “promises” to clear out North Waziristan, and the continual flacking by US officials for the Pakistani leaders who have made the promises. See Threat Matrix report, Pakistan to launch another Potemkin offensive in North Waziristan, from Aug. 3, 2012, for the details.
Just five days after that report in August, the Pakistani military said that a new operation in North Waziristan was not needed, as aptly named operation “Tight Screw” was already putting the “squeeze” on the Haqqani Network and other terror groups there. (But of course there has been no operation in North Waziristan since 2006). Perhaps Malik forgot about the supposedly ongoing operation “Tight Screw” when he said today that an operation isn’t in the cards? Someone in Pakistan really should get the story straight….
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.