The army has spent weeks cutting off militants’ escape routes and softening
up targets in the region, using limited intelligence-led ground and air strikes.
— Photo by AP
Though military operations are launched unannounced to catch the enemy off guard, the case of Operation Rah-i-Nijaat has been altogether different.
While at the time of writing troop movement and reports emanating from Peshawar indicated that the operation had begun in South Waziristan, since June there have been regular indications that the army was ready to start hostilities against the Taliban in the area.
This strategy may have been initiated to give ample time to the civilian population of Waziristan to leave for safer places and convert the area into a battlefield where the security forces could unleash their arsenal without causing too much collateral damage. Snip
Figures vary, but it is estimated that Waziristan is home to more than 5,000 hardened militants besides some 2,000 Uzbek fighters. The total strength of the enemy in the area is said to be 10,000. Snip
In view of the operation that appears to have begun, the army placed two divisions consisting of 27,000 soldiers to take on an estimated 10,000 hard-core Taliban militants. The army has spent weeks cutting off militants’ escape routes and softening up targets in the region, using limited intelligence-led ground and air strikes.
It is believed that over the past three months the army has been drawing up plans, holding in-depth deliberations and carrying out critical analyses of past actions in the area. One issue that the army would have deliberated on is that of the peace accords drawn up in the past that only helped the militants gain respite from hostilities and a chance to reorganise. Another measure that has been taken to paralyse the militants in the area is the placement of an economic blockade since last June. This measure is said to have restricted supplies to the Taliban. It is hoped that it would further squeeze the fighting ability of the militants.
Operation against Terrorists Launched
‘Pakistan Times’ Federal Bureau Oct. 18
Security forces patrol streets in a vicinity of Waziristan,
Sat, Oct. 17, 2009
ISLAMABAD: The security forces of the country have launched an operation against the terrorist elements in South Waziristan. Snip
Director General (DG) Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Ather Abbas said Pak Army operation has been started against the extremists in South Waziristan Agency (SWA) last night, a report said Saturday.
Talking to media here, he said Pak Army is engaged in gunbattle at various points in the SWA.
According to military sources, there are 1000 to 1500 militants present in the SWA and the operation is being launched after three-month siege of the extremists.
Meanwhile, a report from Wana says that fighter jets of security forces pounded militants’ positions in South Wazirisitan, killing 11 terrorists and destroying 2 hideouts during the ongoing military operation on Saturday. Snip
According to details, a security man was martyred and three others injured in an remote detonated bomb attack on a vehicle of security forces in Karkunray area near Jandola in SWA. The military forces repulsed and pounded militants’ positions in Karkunray with the help of fighter jets. Snip
Political administration has said that the military’s infantry have begun operation against terrorists from three sides. It said over 4000 to 5000 terrorists are present in the area, most of them are hiding in Mehsud area. Snip
After launch of security forces operation against militants, massive migration from Shakoi and Zangra areas of South Waziristan is going on.
Security forces battle militants in South Waziristan
DAWN.Com Oct 18
Pakistan has mounted numerous offensives against militants in its northwest since 2002, meeting with limited success and costing the lives of 2,000 troops.
— Photo by AP
PESHAWAR: Security forces pounded Taliban positions with heavy artillery on Sunday, pressing a major operation in South Waziristan for a second day and reportedly killing up to 20 militants.
Meanwhile, DawnNews reported that 10 militants and two security officials had been killed in clashes as troops moved deeper into South Waziristan and a curfew remained imposed in Wana, Mirali and Miramshah. Snip
The rugged district is part of a tribal belt on the Afghan border that US officials call the most dangerous place in the world, home to thousands of Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked fighters branded a major threat to the west. Snip
‘We estimate that around 100,000 more people can be displaced (beyond the 90,000 who have already flet), say a total of around 150,000 to 200,000 people can be displaced,’ Colonel Waseem Shahid, from an army support group, told AFP.
There were heavy clashes in mountainous forest at Sharwangi and near Spinkai Raghzai, which the army said it captured after nightfall.
Troops established a checkpoint en route to Kotkai, the home town of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud.
Two Conflicting Interpretations Of The Latest Wave
by Ahsan: There are, broadly speaking, two interpretations of the spike in violence in the last ten days. One is optimistic, and one is pessimistic. The optimistic version, predictably forwarded by the government, is that this is a last desperate stand from the Taliban and their allies, in advance of the Army assault in Waziristan. The logic is that this wav… Read more at Five Rupees »
Pakistan’s Intelligence Failures Amidst Daily Carnage
by Riaz Haq: The best way to stop the increasing carnage on the streets of Pakistan, at least in the short term, is to stop the terrorist attacks well before they occur. Unfortunately, however, the intelligence agencies which are supposed to frustrate the blood-thirsty attackers appear totally ineffective, even paralyzed. The agencies, including the Inter-Serv… Read more at Haq’s Musings »
GHQ Attack; Who is Behind
by Talkhaba: Who has attacked Pakistans Defence Headquarter, GHQ Who is the beneficiary Is it just the work of Punjabi Taliban or they have committed it for someone else as mercenary Has Blackwater done it with assistance from Punjabi Taliban Is it a reaction against opposition by Pakistan Army to Kerry Lugar bill Has the US gave message to army, dont stop… Read more at Pakistan Desk »
News Channels Should Continue Broadcasting Violent Images
by Ahsan: One thing that irks me considerably is self-censorship by media organizations. At the best of times, I find this practice usually motivated by a desire to not offend, respect some sensibilities, or not broom up trouble silly and counterproductive. But it is in the case of gruesome violence where it assumes actual socio-political importance. Cons… Read more at Five Rupees »
How Democracy Should Work
by Farrukh: In a recent article entitled Democracy does deliver, a woman PPP parliamentarian has not really made the point of democracy’s deliverance. What she lauds as a diplomatic win is, unfortunately, nothing more than the assurance of further foreign aid and not any historic empowerment of this nation. If my memory serves me right aid was given during the… Read more at Farrukh Khan Pitafi »
Pakistan’s Powerful Patrons And Partners
by Ahsan: We know Pakistan’s strong and powerful ally putative ally has abandoned the state in the past when push came to shove. We know that Pakistan has done and sacrificed a great deal for this ally, sometimes at great cost to its sovereignty and internal stability. So my question is: why hasn’t Pakistan’s relationship with China changed I started thi… Read more at Five Rupees »
by Omar: I dont know if you have heard about this or not but there has been quite a lot of chatter about the U.S private security agency Blackwater USA. entering Pakistan. Like most things U.S led, there is a shroud of secrecy and controversy surrounding it. For those of you who do not know what Blackwater USA (now XE LLC.) is, it is considered to be the wo… Read more at Buzzz… »