ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has finally succumbed to U.S. pressure and has given commitment to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit last week to move against pockets of militants in North Waziristan. According to well-placed sources, the military already present in North Waziristan the alleged home of so-called Haqqani network would carry out selective actions covered by Pakistan Air Force’s surgical strikes. Spokespersons of both Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) and PAF were not available for comments despite daylong efforts on part of Online.
The sources told media that the PAF has already started preemptive measures to ward off retaliatory suicide attacks by the militants once it begins surgical strikes assisting troops on ground in North Waziristan. “The Air Force already started reducing unnecessary non-operational staff at its bases which are considered possible target of retaliatory attacks by the militants,” the sources said.
According to the sources the civilian government is tasked to manage the media in the wake of operation by portraying it as selective actions against only those that challenge its write whether in North Waziristan or elsewhere. When asked Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan declined to comment on this issue saying, “it was not her subject and Foreign Affairs Ministry was the right forum to ask such questions.”
Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua when asked the same question the other day during her weekly briefing also hoodwinked the questioner. “We are committed to continue to fight against terrorism and to take any step required in this regard,” was her answer to question of specific steps Clinton stated in her Presser Pakistani leadership had assured her to take on immediate basis.
The sources on the other hand had insisted that Pakistani leadership, civilian and military, in unison had bartered the undertaking to operate against militants in North Waziristan with the clean chit Clinton granted to them in Osama Ben Laden’s case.
A full-fledged military operation clean up has been a long standing demand of the U.S. that it considered as one of the safe havens for militants. The political government had left it to military leadership to decide whether or not to carry out an operation in North Waziristan. Pakistan’s military leadership at the same time has been saying that it was unable to open anymore fronts of war while operating against militants in most of Federally Administered Tribal Areas besides guarding the Eastern borders with arch rival India.
It is also pertinent to note that American drones have been focusing targets in North Waziristan during last many months despite an unequivocal protest registered by Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. Even during her last briefing the FO spokesperson has described drones as persistent irritant in the bilateral relations between the two countries. “Differences remain over the issue drone attacks but the two sides agreed to continue discussing the matter at every level,” she had added.
According to the sources, the civilian as well as military leadership believed that surgical strikes in North Waziristan would possibly minimize drone attacks that fuel anti-American sentiment across the country besides putting another question mark of Pakistan’s sovereignty with each predator strike.-Online