Army Commander: Offensive ‘In the Offing’
The fighting in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency continues to get uglier, as Pakistani Taliban fighters killed 14 soldiers, beheaded all but one, and displayed the severed heads in the center of the agency capital of Miramshah.
The Taliban had initially attacked an army post on Sunday, and the military responded with helicopter gunship attacks. There was no indication that the military attacks did serious harm to the Taliban, but it did kill three civilians and wound several others.
The US has been demanding a Pakistani invasion of North Waziristan for years, but every attempt has stalled after a few offensives. Pakistani commander Lt. Gen. Rabbani claimed that this time the offensive is “in the offing.”
Throughout history, the tribes in North Waziristan have bristled at external interference, and have fought many long, bloody wars against attempts to impose foreign rule on them. Though nominally part of Pakistan, any attempt by the military to bring the region under control is expected to be met with a massive upswing in retaliatory attacks, a big part of why the offensive have stalled so many times in the past with claims of an “understanding” reached with powerful tribal leaders.
By Jason Ditz