Myth of South Waziristan Broken: Gen. Kayani

February 13, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Sitting under a portrait of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, with a huge blazing red calligraphy on his left and an impressive piece of framed Chinese embroidery on his right, recalling the deaths at the Parade Lane of four young sons of his officers who were Hufaz-e-Quran, COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani emerged as the first Army chief to resort to speak to the Americans and their Western allies in words and images that they cannot fail to understand.

One of the last few senior generals to have undertaken military training in the US until the Pressler Amendment was slapped on Pakistan, the US and its allies are now not only listening but also understanding as the COAS uses the symbols of American legendary golfer Tiger Woods on his power point display and comparing full bases at a baseball game to some of the war situations on the Pak-Afghan border.

In a meeting at the GHQ, with analysts and retired senior generals, some under whose command he had served, the COAS opened up his mind and heart to dwell on the dangers facing Pakistan militarily, and the region, and ways and means that the military leadership thinks are the solutions to ensure that at the end of the war, Pakistan does not find itself in the ‘wrong corner of the room’. The interaction continued for nearly three hours.

Speaking on and off therecord, the COAS shared with the participants the presentation that he had made at Nato headquarters in Brussels, where generals from 45 countries heard him, and which many Western military analysts told The News, was a “make and break” presentation, which got the Western military leadership not only ‘educated’, but confess amongst themselves “all” that they were doing “wrong” inside Afghanistan.

One of the direct results of this Brussels presentation, which even the Foreign Office agrees, resulted in the final push which made India coming reluctantly to the negotiating table. The COAS had convinced Nato and others why it was important for him to have his eastern border peaceful.

The proudest moment for any Pakistani was to hear and readily believe that the ‘myth’ of South Waziristan had been broken and the military operations before that in Swat and Malakand in the words of the Army chief, “We did it with no help from the United States. Daily I would receive calls if we needed any help and we replied we needed nothing”.

He was very clear about what was best for Pakistan in these days of turmoil. “Partnership (with the US) does not mean you desire and I start doing it,” said the COAS. He said with the US military aid still in the pipeline, “In many cases I have eaten into my reserves.” While acknowledging he said there has to be a balance for a military budget and one for development as well.

The fear was, said Kayani, even if his military had accepted 5%, it would have been blown up to 50%. The COAS earlier had met General Stanley A McChrystal, Commander International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan, at a time when everyone in the region was still waiting for the US to explain in detail the policies that will take them up to the time that they are ready to leave the region.

“I told McChrystal that the acid test of a policy is that options should increase,” he said, adding that he believed that the only way to measure success inside Afghanistan was to gauge the public support and not the number of people you kill.

“Today, this is McCrystal’s policy inside Afghanistan, where they talk of a political process and reconciliation. Finally, there is realisation today,” added the chief. Looking at the US Afghan strategy, Kayani says he has clearly told the US that raising an Afghan Army in the stipulated time is not possible, and weaning away of the Taliban will only happen if the US is seen willing inside Afghanistan.

“This has not happened and the perception has not been formed. Only when you win over 70%, you are really winning,” he added. He also does not shy away from telling his US visitors that the bulk of Nato supplies are still going through Pakistan and they will continue to do so, and threats of looking for alternative routes do not impress him.

South Waziristan “We had a history of mismanaged operations in South Waziristan and there was a myth that no-one has ever come here and controlled the area. If we had turned back, we would have destroyed the credibility of the military”.

The victory in South Waziristan, the chief said, was because of motivation of the troops, changed tactics of engaging the adversaries from the dangerous ridges of mountains instead of the customary land routes which also resulted in fewer casualties.

Swat operation The COAS said there was no example in history of what the Pakistan military accomplished in the Swat operation and which successfully changed the public opinion. It was the largest heliborne operation.

“So when we send foreign defence chiefs to Swat, we have a story to tell. When I accompanied Admiral Mike Mullen and showed him how we had done the operation, including showing him the gorges there, his response was, “I will send General McChrystal to see this”.

The last visitor was US National Security Advisor James Jones, who heard for himself from educated locals how unpopular the Americans were.


Kayani says he did not mince his words when he told Nato that he was India-centric and there was logic behind this. There was no way he could relax on his eastern border to concentrate fully on the west.

“We have unresolved issues, a history of conflict and now the Cold Start doctrine. Help us resolve these issues. We want peaceful co-existence with India. India has the capability and intentions can change overnight,” Kayani had told his audience in Brussels.

Nato is also realising why it is important for Pakistan to help train the Afghan Army because Pakistan could strategically simply not tolerate an Afghan Army trained by the Indians and having an Indian mindset.

Pak-Nato ratio

It is not easy for any commander to count his dead when the killing fields are still alive. But Kayani told Nato how Pakistan in 2009, lost 2,273 soldiers with another 6,512 being wounded.

“Pakistan as one nation lost 2,273 soldiers while US/Nato in the same period lost 1,582. We have 10,000 troops on UN missions,” recalled the COAS. Pakistan has contributed 147,000 troops to its “silent surge” while 43 nations in Afghanistan have sent a mere 100,000.

Pakistan mans 82 posts at the Pak-Afghan border while the coalition and Afghan Army have only 112. “Pakistan’s operations have decreased cross border movements, there is control of areas, squeezing of spaces, and continuous flow of logistic flow,” pointed the COAS. For a man of “few words” when he was DG ISI, today Kayani is saying a lot more. All of which has to be heard loud and clear by the people of Pakistan.



  1. Letter from Aafia Saddiqui – My Dead Nation

    My name is Dr. Afia educated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) with three children and aim of helping my nation with my high class education is very pleased from your help.

    I was kidnapped from my own country by my brothers and sold to America. I was brutally treated, raped, tortured, again and again given name prisoner 650. I prayed for my Muhammad Bin Qasim for every second of my years in prison in a Muslim country Afghanistan.

    I am sister of 1/5 world’s Muslim population . My nation is historically famous in defending and protecting their citizens right from the beginning. Hazrat Omar (RA) Said, if a dog dies near river Arafat, Omar will be responsible on day of judgment.

    At the moment I can’t walk on my own, one kidney is removed, bullet wound in my chest, denied any medical and legal aid and not sure whether I will be alive or not.

    I would like to revoke my status of sister. I am a proud Muslim, follower of Hazrat Muhammad SAW, daughter of Hazrat Abubakar, Hazrat Umar, Hazrat Usman and Hazrat Ali and Companions and their true followers. I don’t want to be your sister.

    They are my protectors and I will seek Allah’s help not yours.

    I don’t want to be Pakistani who has 600,000 troops and special force SSG but fail to protect me, they sworn to protect me but refused when I was looking at them for help.
    My so called Muslim Ummah having millions of soldiers, guns, tanks. Automatic weapons, fighter plans, submarines and yet they failed to save me.

    Don’t worry about day of judgment you won’t be answerable as you are not my brothers in Islam. You are Arabic, Persian, Palestinians, African, Malaysian, Indonesian, South Asian but not Muslims.

    I am sorry if hurts you but you can’t imagine how hurt I am.’


  2. […] PDRTJS_settings_11610_post_1352 = { "id" : "11610", "unique_id" : "wp-post-1352", "title" : "Myth+of+South+Waziristan+Broken%3A+Gen.+Kayani", "item_id" : "_post_1352", "permalink" : "http%3A%2F%2Fsiyasipakistan.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F02%2F13%2Fmyth-of-south-waziristan-broken-gen-kayani%2F" } PKKH […]

  3. The interesting thing is that the new nato/afghan operation in Helmland seems to try to copy the Pakistan Army operation in Swat etc …

    • very true..i have noticed the same thing based on some of the press reports coming out of the area. the language and tactics the americans and NATO are deploying in marjah seem like they were taken right out of the pakistan army’s manual from waziristan and swat. seems like the arrogance has waned a little.

  4. yeah! hamri himmat ko dekh ker inhay b himmat agayee!! tabbah hungaye!

  5. Hmmm well kiyani is doing what he thinks is his duty. But the question arises is that what we are doing as Pakistanis and as Muslims.
    Are we supporting him or just sitting like ducks infront of TV and clapping on this gentleman
    We need to realise that its nowtime for us to stand up and work for the betterment of our country and to show the dirty indians, israelis, & americans that we are one as a nation as an UMMAH.

    Dont mess with us.


  6. Great to see a leader speaking up for Pakistan and OUR interests in contrast to the morally weak and NRO-backed political class who are just looking for new ways to bleed the Pakistani people. Just imagine a two time PM going on natinal TV and saying he is for a visa free entry of Bharatis and a president saying that there lives an Indian in every Pakistani heart. Bastards!

  7. Gen. Kiani is the one of the last senior generals to be trained in the US – Any one with any political acumen knows what that means.

  8. But the stance taken by him,since his appointment,two years ago,belies that.Remember Kerry Lugar bill?
    But it is true that no sooner they start working for national interest,they are eliminated.Ayub Khan,Zia & Musharraf are examples.Even civilian like Z.A.Bhutto are made example(as per Kissinger).

  9. Well written article and it highlights the prudent approach of Pakistan Army in the region. I commend general Kiyani for his vision.

    Once again, very well balanced article.

  10. Lol who ever wrote this article is being a bit too optimistic no offence… The real test will start when the americans leave and all these taliban and anti pak elements turn towards us. I personally think its going to be very hard to quench the fire that musharraf started. We have been killing the very people we helped and trained to fight the soviets, and for 10 years now musharraf and his generals have been helping the americans kill all poor afghanis and now the pushtuns of pakistan. Sad part is mush was a karachiite and pretty much 90 percent of the country hates the punjabis because of their misguided belief that punjab is the source of their problems. I dont mean to be party pooper but we need to be aware of what awaits us and its not flowers and cookies. FATA Waziristan and some other parts of frontier and balochistan are incredibly anti pak and anti army and anti punjabi right now and i dont know what it will take to calm them down.

    • stop the drone attacks by the americans in fata and north waziristan which is killing hundreds of innocent pakistani civillians which the pakistani goverment is turning a blind eye to after all pakistan suppose to be a soverign and independent country the only country in the world that lets its airspace be violated like this when this is done i will guarantee you everything will be calm as you put it
      nujat pakistani patriotic pakhtoon

      • You will never talk about anything else. In every thread about General Kiyani, you only spew “drone attacks”.

        You are not concerned with anything else going on in the region.

        You don’t concern yourself with any topic of the post.

        All you look for is a post about General Kiyani and whin about “drone attacks”

      • Imran, I think Nujat is shouting out a valid point here. what is our general doing to protect innocent civilians in the areas where drone attack takes place. what kind of an army do we have when they cannot protect their own brothers and sisters. tomorrow if the US drones attacks deep into pakistani cities, then do we still see this as success of our army. and finally i dont think you have lost any of your relatives from the “drone prone” areas of pakistan. i do have and hence know the pain of losing my brothers and sisters!!

      • Obaid, Nujat, I think we all can understand. The problem is that these (tribal)areas have not been under Pakistan gov. control, hence our response have been that while we dont want the US to bomb we cannot and have not been able to police it ourself. I think that is changing, and inshAllah it will be an end to the drone attacks.

  11. Well written & well told.

    Hats off for COAS.


  12. keyani should start without delay break the myth of the drones any other talk is a waste of time violation
    of pakistani airspace by the americans should be his number one priority

    • See once again, all you utter is drone attacks.

      All you look for, in particular, is a post about General Kiyani and resume your “drone rhetoric”…….

      I am sure, if people like yourself had been reaching decision making ranks in Pakistan Army, Pakistan would have vanished long ago by the curtesy of your irrational appaorch.

      Very sad a deeply disappointing you have no ability to self introspection.

      • well imran the drone issue is the most important issue at present facing pakistan her credibility is at stake i mean this is a question of life and death how many more pakistani civillians would you rather see before this goverment start doing something about it i know keyani cannot do something about the drones without zardari say so but surely a man in his position should have a conscience and resign over this issue as a protest to zardaris stance
        im sure ninety nine per cent of my fellow pakistanis aggrees with my stance its a shame that some people are blind to these facts

      • nujat,

        We all Pakistanis are concerned about this issue AND all other issues facing Pakistan today. Don’t undermine other fellow Pakistanis and their sincerity for the country.


        “Drones” are NOT and I repeat NOT “THE” most important issue facing Pakistan today. There are many others and “drones” is “ONE” among them.

        General Kiyani cannot deal with this drone issue single mindedly. Army does not fuction in this manner as you suggest and General Kiyani cannot stop the drone attacks in this manner and in this setup and in a manner you propose.

      • @ Imran

        mate, this nujat guy is not going to rest unless he gets a drone 😉

        seriously. there is no point in trying to fix him. he is damaged beyond repair. He should change his name to “DRONE”. So leave him.

  13. which other issue is more important then life or death in ones own country imran if keyani has no say on this drone issue then dont make him out as someone he is not this so called saviour of the nation figure
    to me he is from the same tree branch as zardari and the rest of his crooks

    • nujat

      All you need is a “drone” to play with. You are damaged beyond repair. You should change your name to DRONE.

      I have to agree with TAREEN and leave you alone.

  14. nobody is under any obligation to reply to my comments
    he or she does at their own free will whether they agree with my comments or not thats life everybody has a different point of view
    regarding the phrase damage i would say that the people that are truly damaged and beyond repair are the keyanis zardaris maliks pashas gillanis of this world know they are TRULY TRULY DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR

    • Drone aaya drone aaya!

  15. I fully agree with Nujat.But the list is incomplete.
    He should also include Khans(Imran,Wali and -)Billours,Hotis.In fact each and every politician of Pakistan,who have brought the country to this stage.

    • i will judge imran khan when he has taken the presidential hot seat for know he is only in opposition

  16. Nujat,

    We are referring to your incorrigible rhetoric of “drone attack” and equating it with a damage beyond repair.

    Damaged beyond repair means, “you cannot stop indiscriminate mention about drones” in every response you write, in every topic you participate and in any topic about General Kiyani.

    Of course, you are free to write whatever you like.

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