US Betrayal As Pakistan Army Launches Waziristan OffensiveOctober 19, 2009
PKKH BREAKING NEWS EXCLUSIVE
US and NATO forces have deserted the Paktika province bordering South Waziristan as Pakistan Army launched a military offensive on Saturday.
Highly credible sources have informed BrassTacks that as Pakistan prepared to launch a full-scale offensive in the last few days, the US and NATO queitly pulled out of Afghanistan’s Paktika province that lies on the Afghan side of South Waziristan.
Pakistan had mobilized its armed forces to surround and control exit and entry points for South Waziristan ever since the governor of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province announced a ground offensive in South Waziristan on 15 June. Following the brazen attacks on Pakistan’s security forces in the last week that included an attack at Pakistan Army’s headquarters, the armed forces decided to launch a full scale military offensive in the early hours of Saturday, pounding targets using fighter jets and helicopter gunships in an effort to nuetralize the threat from militant bases high up on the mountains. The military has succeeded in taking control of the heights and put up outposts.
The terrain in South Waziristan is said to be easier to fight on compared to the Swat valley which is more densely forested.
With troops and artillery advancing towards Mehsud tribe stronghold Makeen from Ramzak in the North, Shakai in the South and Jandola in the East, the only escape route for militants in South Waziristan is towards Afghanistan’s Paktika province in the West, which had seen a rise in numbers of US and NATO soldiers in the last few months. With the surge in numbers of US and NATO troops in Afghan provinces bordering Pakistan, fears were raised that it will push militants into Pakistan as Americans set up outposts and bases in the region.
With the start of Operation ‘Rah-e-Nijaat’ looming, the decision from the US and NATO forces to vacate this key region allowing militants to escape or seek reinforcements from the Aghan side of the border is nothing short of a betrayal of epic proportions. The US drones which have struck with impunity in the past could have been effectively used to help Pakistan Army’s offensive in South Waziristan – however they also seem to have come to a halt as the offensive started.
The army’s plan to hold the roads as well as main towns including the Mehsud-dominated centres of Ladha, Makeen and Sararogha will be made more difficult due to this American betrayal as militants can now easily disappear into Afghanistan as well as seek reinforcements. Pakistan has presented evidence to the US and Afghanistan in the past of Indian involvement in supporting the TTP militants with funds and weapons through the Paktika province as well as the Indian consultats in Jalalabad and Kandahar.
Leading Pakistani defence analyst Zaid Hamid of BrassTacks informed PKKH that in order to ensure the destruction of militancy in South Waziristan, Pakistan Army must now ensure they cut off the militants’ supply and escape route into Afghanistan by securing the border between Paktika and South Waziristan. At the same time Pakistan must target known militant hideouts and bases inside Afghanistan.
Since US and NATO have been striking targets in Pakistan alleging them to be militant / Al-Qaeda hideouts, Pakistan must also safeguard its national security interests and strike targets inside Afghanistan in order for the operation in South Waziristan to succeed.