View Full Version : Battle for Waziristan looms (Huge news if true!)

10-02-2009, 11:16 AM
PESHAWAR: After fighting brief skirmishes against militants, the Pakistan Army plans to unfold in the next few days what military officials characterise as the mother of all battles in South Waziristan, senior military and security officials said on Thursday.

‘If we don’t take the battle to them, they will bring the battle to us,’ a senior military official said of the militants. ‘The epicentre of the behemoth called the Taliban lies in South Waziristan, and this is where we will be fighting the toughest of all battles.’

For three months, the military has been drawing up plans, holding in-depth deliberations and carrying out studies on past expeditions to make what seems to be the last grand stand against Pakistani Taliban in the Mehsud heartland a success.

‘We are ready. The environment is ready,’ the senior officer said. But military officials also admit Waziristan will not be an easy battle. ‘It will not be a walkover. This is going to be casualty-intensive hard fighting. The nation will have to bear the pain,’ said another officer.

Already this past summer, the military has lost more than three hundred of its soldiers in the Swat valley. One out of ten was officer — the highest soldier-to-officer casualty ratio in any war, skirmish or operation in the world, a spokesman for the military said.

By the military’s own reckoning, the past two operations against the tribal militants in South Waziristan ended in failure. The Jan 2004 operation led to the infamous Shakai peace agreement in April 2004, followed by another agreement with the now-dead Tehrik-i-Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud on Feb 5, 2005.

In late January last year, the military launched Operation Zalzala with the stated goal of dislodging Baitullah Mehsud from his stronghold. The operation did not cause even a tremor and only 12 days later, were authorities struggling to revive the dead Sararogha agreement. .