It was in early 2009, when amidst all the doom and gloom; I mentioned that we will re-take agencies one by one. And, since then, you folks have seen that we went on to re-take Bajaur, then Mohmand, Swat, Darra Adam Khel – etc. This operation, I believe, should therefore be seen as an extension of the Pakistan Army’s operations in agencies, and not in isolation.

Forces present in the TO (Theater of Operation; South Waziristan)

  • 3 divisions of the Pakistan Army. – 21,600 troops. Reserve: 1 brigade / division, bringing the total to about 28,800 troops
  • 3 Corps of the FC [South Waziristan Scouts, Shawal Rifles & Tochi Scouts]. Each corps has about 2000 men. Bringing the total number of fighting troops to 6000.
  • Support units like Armor, Engineers, Supply and FACs (forward air controllers or ground liaison officers) are in addition to above mentioned troops.

Do mind that Waziristan is already playing host to 11 and 12 corps of the Pakistan Army. [Above mentioned troops, are in addition to these troops]

All in all, you’re looking at a number of about 60 to 80,000 active duty soldiers in this theater of operations.

Realistic goals of the operation?

I don’t believe, that any one is under the impression that the Pakistan Army is going to have it easy. IMO, it’ll be a slow going operation and that the Pakistan Army is already bracing for heavy casualties.

map to waziristan
Picture courtesy BBC

In addition to that, IMO this operation will not be an “extermination exercise” as certain analysts have pointed out, but one involving a “re-take and hold” approach, within Mehsud dominated areas of South Waziristan. I expect denial of territory to the entire spectrum of militancy, to an extent that federal government can utilize political agent(s) for exerting full administrative control over the territory.

We are not going to be able to kill every Talib, or even take out their top leadership at the offset. But like in Swat, we can do plenty to ensure that the Khasadar and the FC forces are able to comfortably enforce the writ of the state.

Denial of territory to militants and re-establishment of governance structures in essentially lost areas is, in my opinion, the bare minimum we have to achieve.

Remember that these militants have destroyed the tribal customs and the very hierarchy of tribal leadership. Just in Waziristan, that amounts to 600+ elders murdered by these thugs (according to a 4 year old report).

So there is a genuine, traditional tribal leadership (well their offspring now!) which we can help rehabilitate. Provide enough security to them that they offer to federal government the historical role they used to play.

How would TTP react?

By now, many columnists from within Pakistan and outside have posed several questions pertaining to gauging TTP’s reaction to the operation – Questions such as; how do you think, TTP will respond to this operation? Apart from sending their cadres in settled areas of Pakistan, in order to create havoc, what else can we expect from them?

Well, the option of simply melting away, in my opinion, is simply not realistic, not anymore. Granted that some will definitely disperse, ultimately, the militants will balk at the idea of giving up their strongest of the strongholds just like that. You have to remember that South Waziristan is central to operations of not only TTP but also their “guests” so the idea that they will simply walk away quietly to somewhere safer is a non starter. They have invested 8 years worth of their time and effort to build up an environment and a support infrastructure that is conducive towards their militant activities.

They will give us a nasty fight and we should have no doubts about this.

Historically, it might be correct that militants used tactics of running away to an adjacent area when an operation was imminent, but do mind that we are talking about a time when entire Malakand, Mohmand, Bajaur, North and South Waziristan were firmly under their control and the state had largely walked away from its responsibility.

Now that luxury, at least to that extent, is simply not available for them.

If you folks can remember, it was in early 2009 amongst all the doom and gloom that I’d mentioned that we will re-take these agencies one by one. And you’ve seen that since then we went on to re-take Bajaur, Mohmand, Swat and Darra Adam Khel, etc.

The point being that these people have literally run out of places to go to. Even if we are to assume that some of them manage to escape to Orakzai or parts of Kurrum – Ultimately, we’ll be more than glad to follow them there too because as and when their area of freedom shrinks, it makes easier to take them on where-ever they happen to be.

My take on the Operation

My take though is that there is too much at stake in Waziristan. Principally, TTP cadres may be able to trickle into settle areas to avoid a traumatic fate or to live for another day … but that luxury is not available to their “guests”. The Uzbeks, Chechens and Arabs etc will have to fight it out because if they are caught, they’ll be sent home on the first available flight and in a country like Uzbekistan, they’ll be sent straight to a firing squad.

Why is Waziristan so important? Strategically speaking, it’s important for the same reason that Bajaur was important because it borders Afghanistan and offers cross border movement through an area with forbidding terrain. It provides TTP and their “guests” with access to move to/from Afghanistan. If and when they face heat in Pakistan, they move to Afghanistan.

It’s here, that the role of ISAF and ANA will come in to play, i.e. if they can manage to secure and seal their side of the Afghan border or not. Time for the Gov. of Pakistan and the Pakistani foreign office to ask them to ‘do more’.

Waziristan is not the end of it but think of it like climbing a mountain. In terms of counter insurgency, I think we would have climbed the major part of the mountain, if Waziristan is re-taken.

Last but not least, expect many attacks throughout Pakistan. I hope that I am wrong but that’s their modus operandi for exerting pressure, though a tactic of a bygone era, when public was not in favor of the war, itself.

That has now changed, especially in the aftermath of a successful operation (though military, while civilian rebuilding work is still lacking at many fronts) in Swat. Times have changed and so shall the results, this time around. InshAllah!

For our troops; good luck and god speed!

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  • kashaziz

    Very well written. Keep up the good work, and write often.

  • sayb

    Good article Saad ! quite realistic. You present ground realities in this article and make deductions based on common sense which is rare nowadays :)

    If you ever consider writing another article addressing variables / factors within a broader political scope affecting this operation, then do take into consideration the role of the current “Afghan” govt. as they are not Pakistan friendly, India friendly they are, rather, and for a fact the Indians have been addressed by the U.N. to explain their surge of activities in Afghanistan … anyhow this would shoot off into another issue.

    The elimination of these thugs from Waziristan challenges a long chain of notorious mafia syndicates, involving weapons, drugs, human and illegal goods trafficking. All I know, and hope for and pray for, is that this demeaning culture of “illaqa ghair” (foreign territory) should end once and for all. This has really hurt us in the past as all criminals used to run away to these areas where the police had no jurisdiction.

    Moreover, the most sinister of their crimes is “using” religion to brainwash and mislead the unfortunate youth from all over the country. And sadly, many of the “madrassas” you see around have been their tools.

    May Allah be with our Pak Army boys out there ! Ameen !

  • drawab

    As usual a great article – well written and gives a great perspective of whats expected, considering the success of the Swat offensive – we may justify this also as a need. Agreed – but the loss of innocent human lives is a big problem. Army consider many as collateral damage – “a part of the deal” sadly that in turn will create one more terrorist, one more enemy of Pakistan and one more suicide bomber against the Pakistan Army

    We are at war with ourselves, thanks to a mismanaged War on Terror and thanks in no small regard to our Cheap-ass dictator Musharraf who sold our blood and soul to let the Americans out run the Talibs from Afghanistan and smack into Pakistan.

    God help us, as I fear more repercussions

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  • munib

    i think this statement is key ” We are at war with ourselves “
    Though you are talking this w.r.t MUSH tactics i.e to keep his ass in power there are some other aspects too which everyone (every time) miss out completely ( you do it very often . . PTI influence ?? LoL kidding)

    – Why cant we hit the root of the cause of this extremism which start from our madrassaz
    – Anyone who says our madrasaz are not the root cause, is POLITICALLY BLIND to say the least.
    – While majority of the madrasaz do the proper job a good number of them are ACTUALLY providing the HUMAN RESOURCE for these elements.
    – Our ARMY has to come out of this Teetar-Batair attitude of “Good Taliban” – “Bad Taliban” philosophy. A taliban is trained for SOME OBJECTIVEs, if negotiations is his way of success he will negotiate and if killing is the requirement he will kill. So make no mistake. If we forgive few sections of taliban just because they are SOFT in their approach of the objective , keep in mind, they will come back one day demanding more and will adopt a TOUGH stance if their demands not met. They all start with the typical “We just want shariah” cover for an eyewash.
    – Our ARMY has to decide if it wants to continue fooling itself and nation with the ZIA tactic (and more lethally the MUSH one) or it wants to wake up and eliminate this JIHADi PROJECT completely.
    – Till they decide this . . . this GAME is far from any end , even if we win this latest operation.
    – All this crap about INDIAN and USA conspiracies at AQ type websites is just to FOOL OURSELVEs and nothing. It is obvious they are not cooking chicken sitting in Afghanistan but its not as much as exaggerated.
    – Our attitude of RAW-HAND behind all attacks will only harm us and it has already.
    – While our ISI is half-heart in its job, our police is least interested in this war and what to say about the COURTs who keep on freeing the culprits (and they dont have much option i guess when there is not enough proof) and therefor all of YOU ( yes i mean YOU) and our nation (THE ARMY, POLICE, AGENCIES,MEDIA,JOURNALISTs like AHMED QURESHI) find it too convenient to throw all the mess at INDIA . . .
    Will that change the REALITY ?
    The ultimate truth is – THE ENEMY is WITHIN US –
    There is no friend-enemy in international projects. If we can shun this ISLAM-ka-QILA nonsense and take stop acting like GUARDs and mind our own business, all will be fine.
    We are into this MESS because we planned it as such and couldnt handle it in 96.
    If we shun the TALIBANs for now it will never mean they will not return. There has to be a policy change at top. Since 78 ONE WHOLE GENERATION from MADRASAZ has been brainwashed by THIS VERY SAME ARMY to fight for a stupid cause and when they captured KABUL in 96, they realized they have a starting point from where they can Conquer the WHOLE WORLD on their self-made HOLY MISSION. PAKISTAN was next in their list and CENTRAL ASIA and so on . . .

    Our ARMY didnt realize that brainwashing young kids by RELIGIOUS injections can be irreversible and since its irreversible , they were too late to realize the intention of the ROBOTs they had designed at the ISI training camps at our mountains where our MAJORs and COLONELs were coding the ISLAM theocracy of AFGHANISTAN (http://pkpolitics.com/2009/09/13/jawab-deyh-13-…).

    Is this logic too difficult to understand that if you keep injecting this “Muslim Khilafa” medicine into the bloods of thousands of fresh-mind madrasa students and pump them into a holy war and after 20 years of their efforts when they see their fruits in KABUL, you suddenly press the STOP button on remote and tell them that “Hey we just wanted to take over Afghanistan dude !!. . what the heck with Shariah” and all their 20 year dreams shatter in front of their eyes and they feel like they have been BETRAYED

    This betrayal by PAKISTAN ARMY is what the reason of this whole WAR.

  • Saad

    The problem that I see with including political factors, in such arguments, is that many of them remain loose at the ends. Hence, I usually avoid getting into such discussions.

  • Saad

    Human lives are being lost, even if Army doesn't venture into that area (100 plus people, in less than a week). The war, irrespective of the ground its being fought on, is already here. Walking away from it, at this point in time, I believe would be disastrous. Also, I believe that over the course of next few weeks, they'll hopefully manage to extract much of the civilian population out of S. Waziristan, like they did in Swat.

    And I wholeheartedly concur with the latter part of your argument. Excellently put!

  • AdnanSiddiqi

    Saad, how do you define a successful operation? Just because it was formally “over” by ISPR guy or you re quite obsessed with current media champs who are declaring that the war is over?

    Do you remember how Bush formally declared he won in Iraq and how he had to save his ass in Iraq? have you forgotten that daily several NATO troops are being killed IN afghanistan that even General Petreaus(sp?) and another generals openly admitting that they can't win in Afghanistan unless they send further troops but on other hand they can't send more troops because unlike this sad country, their government is responsible to Awam. They don't start some operation just after pushing by media goons who favors operation and later hides in bin when people of that area suffers.

    I wish your words were true but if the previous operation was so successful then how come we are still facing things like GHQ incident, FIA centers etc? Some idiots say on TV that terrorists are desperate that's why they are doing it. It gave me a good laugh. if terrorists are desperate then how come they are being able to make plans? how desperate minds can even do planning? It's quite easy to say that only rebuilding work left for the people who are not suffering. I am sure none of us would be feeling good if someone impose some disaster over our head and leave us all alone by not taking our life matters seriously.

    What US is realizing now, so called intellectual Pakistani minds are not being able to realize that one can't win a war just in a battle field. If the mantra was so easy than American would have won the war in Afghanistan many years ago but today is the situation that Karzai and Obama re calling Mullah Omr and asking him to sit on table and enjoy the meal. We , the Pakistanis who have always happily accepted the residue of West tirelessly acting like “Dabari” of Mughar Akhbar and continue to sing same song. It's not going to solve situation my friend. Today you support operation in Wazristan, tomorrow you will say to nuke all Pakistan because they are every where. The Macho Man attitude is not going to give you peace. World has realised it after tasting the fruit. You might realise the day when the operation will be start in your area and when your own family would be living in a tant without food and water just because Mr.Zardari or some other ruler don;t have time to feed you and your family.

  • Saad


    I'm under no such illusion, that this is our 'final' war. And I devoted the whole last paragraph of my post, to that bit of reality. As for the difference, between Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It's simple. US invaded the two countries, whereby we're fighting a counter insurgency operation here, in our own country.

    As for Swat, countering insurgents in that area, never meant that Pakistan will be rid of insugents once and for all. And that there will be no future attacks. By taking on Swat, you only managed to re-take 'one' of their safe havens. If it's possible, do read my second post on the insurgency in Swat, where I've put forward that very argument. Secondly, without an active civilian rebuilding effort (as in the government), military alone can not succeed – specially on home fronts. Whilst I'd still take Swat op as a successful military operation (15 out of their top 20 leadership has been taken out, and they've been routed out of virtually all areas of Swat), I find the civilian effort to bring normalcy back to the area, lacking on many fronts. And I did point that out in my post above.

    Also, tackling terrorists isn't exactly like fighting a conventional war. Where you go after an enemy and win the war, within a matter of days. There is a reason why ETA is still a challenge for the Spanish government, Naxalites for India, etc. And the reason, it took Sri Lanka, over 20 years in order to bring an end to the LTTE issue.

    In addition to that, Awab has very clearly pointed out, as to why did we manage to reach such a dire position in the first place. It were the dual policies of our rulers (counter militants, only to a point, where it suits our strategic objectives), which has emboldened 'em to a point that they've become an existencial threat to Pakistan. I did cover that issue as well, in my first post on Swat.

  • munib

    Again a very good article/post dear but i will take what AWAB has said i.e “We are at war with ourselves” and also what ADNAN has said i.e WHAT IS THE DEFINITION of a SUCCESS here.

    You have presented a good view about 'TECHNICAL' side of the war but there are some other sides too which are more important (more important i say because we already know TALIBAN are no match to our ARMY overall and its obvious they will be beaten) i.e

    – How to dismantle paksitan from EXTREMISM
    – How to eliminate the THINK TANKs in GHQ who has this “Good Taliban” ” Bad Taliban” philosophy with them even now.
    – Read the article by SALIM SAFI (from my series of UNDERSTANDING TALIBAN on our group list) to have the full picture on this.
    – We know for sure that there is INDIAN and AMERICAN hand to some extent (not as much as exaggerated by the AHMED QURESHI typoz ) , how these hands will be cut
    – The Balauchistan Shura is next in line, how that will be effected from this operation


  • Saad

    Munib, the basic reason why I did not get into political reasonings and restricted myself to the technical aspects of the war is because..

    1. There are plenty of bloggers out there, discussing the political aspects of this war.
    2. Media in general, and Western Media in particular cites 'technical' reasons to undermine our security forces and our nation in general, in order to further their gains in their media war on us. So in order to just balance out the view, to the extent that I can, I wrote about this particular aspect of the war.

  • munib

    This is interesting. I believe otherwise i.e i think the WEST pretty much knows what we are CAPABLE of and its only our “niyyat” which they question. As i was posing the previous comment, i was watching FARIZ ZAKARIAs show on CNN where Shashi Tharoor, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs was present. FZ asked him about PAK and its war on terror etc. Interestingly (incidentally) he was saying exactly what i have said up there in reply to Awab's comment. i.e Our ESTABLISHMENT needs to decide quickly between A TERRORIST and A GOOD CITIZEN. He said (and thats what i keep on saying) there is nothing as GOOD TERRORIST (ones who is willing to kill indians and afghans) and A BAD terrorist (one who is willing to kill PAK only). He then went only use the word (something like) WE DONT TRUST what PAK says, we will believe what it DOES actually on the GROUND. His summary was the “BIG BROTHER love (MULLA MILITARY nexus)” has to be eliminated if our NATION is really serious about this war on terror. And its obvious all his words were not true but i quote it here to point that , again, He is not questioning our capacity TECHNICALLY to take on terror, he is questioning our INTENTION.

    And he is not alone. Like i said, the WEST knows we can handle the talibs but ONLY IF WE REALLY MEAN it. And this is where i conclude that the TECHNICAL part is important but more than that THE POLITICAL part is the key.

    There has to be a POLICY STATEMENT from out gov and establishment that PEOJECT JIHAD is being winded up. We are happy with our borders and we dont intend to take control of Afghan.

    if this is NOT done, here is my future prediction :-

    These TALIBANs will reappear in another shape. If our ARMY again tries to consider them a SOURCE (instead of a liability) and try to repeat 96, we will surely see a repetition of history else we can start the cleansing process of the POISON zia injected in us.

  • munib

    but in any case , i understood your point. Majority discuss political aspect, someone should so the technical one too :)

  • munib

    arey !!
    Saad where is my comment ?? :(

    • Saad

      Which comment, Sir? I can see all of your comments.

  • Rabia

    great write-up.

  • Saad


    My dislike for the army was for a specific reason, and not rooted in illogical hatred for the institution itself. I disliked their role they played under Gen. (r) Musharraf, by blatantly acting outside the law / constitution of Pakistan. Does this mean, that I've to automatically refuse their efforts against militants, as well? Pray tell me, as to how does it spell hypocricy? Which particular principle am I compromising upon in here, that it merits the 'hypocricy' claim?

    By we, I meant Pakistanis. You fell off the tangent there. Anyhow, whilst yes, Gen. (r) Musharraf chose to be a part of this war on his personal intent. Tell me this; has Pakistan army been part of the war against Afghan Taliban? AQ yes, but point me out a single such instance, where Pakistan Army undertook an op against Afghan Taliban?

    Even now, they have they made peace with Wazir tribes, who have in fact allowed Pakistan Army to travel through their controlled areas in N. Waziristan in order to open a front against Mehsuds in S. Waziristan. In almost all of their last three campaigns, their targets were Mehsuds, Chechens, Uzbeks or Arabs.

    When folks, such as yourself, fail to see through such details. All it shows me to is that you're lacking in knowledge and understanding and hence give out ill-informed points of view, if not entirely childish.

    And yes, you're mighty correct in suggesting that Indians might be feeding Mehsuds with money and weapons, in order to further their agenda in Pakistan. Why is it then that an intelligent person such as yourself, fails to see logic in operating against such foot-soldiers? Think you can have your cake and eat it too? If you're of the view that Mehsuds somehow enjoy the same popular support that Mukti Bahni did in the area, then I'd love to hear as to why did the Waziris and Bhittanis side with the Government of Pakistan in this war? (and guess what, both of them freely launch attacks inside Afghanistan). Mehsud is the only tribe in the entire region of N/S Waziristan – along with Uzbeks (which actually fought with Mullah Nazir of Wazir tribe, when he pushed them out of N. Waziristan), Arabs and Chechens which stage attacks inside Pakistan.

    My dear friend, the devil is in the details.

    And while you're talking about Islambad being rocked, pray tell me about a single counter-insurgency war – which was managed after fighting a few battles? I've already explained this notion in my last reply to you, in detail. Don't think that you even read my replies to you.

    Being a Muslim I know it for a fact that what Mehsuds are doing in Pakistan has got nothing to do with Islam, and hence should be countered. I don't see how does it help to 'classify' me as a 'liberal' Muslim.

    Army, from what I know, is not considering an operation in Southern Punjab. We already know that there are dozens of ex-sectarian organizations which are now siding with the Mehsuds, in order to perpetuate terrorism inside Pakistan. [I wrote about it, a year before the Kerry-Lugar bill saw the light of the day, and before anyone else had raised this point – in my questions to Imran Khan] Still, S. Punjab is way better policed than any of the fata agencies – and hence police and rangers are very well equipped to take on these elements in S. Punjab.

    I whole heartedly agree to your point about India not being our friend, and if you've read my comments on various blogs questioning the number of troops deployed in Waziristan as opposed to our Eastern border, you'd have seen me argueing that very point.

    I don't think that our points of view are that very different, in essence, we're just discussing it with different sets of information available to us. Let me know if I'm wrong in suggesting that.

  • AdnanSiddiqi

    It's simple. US invaded the two countries, whereby we're fighting a counter insurgency operation here, in our own country.

    We? Who are part of this alliance? Offcourse USA. Let's not amuse ourselves and try to swallow the reality that whatever Pakistani govt or Army has been doing is based on what US has been instructing for past 8 years. I do agree that its our war now.Embracing someone else's shit by saying,”It's ours” is really nothing but living in illusion. Its like someone sees dirt out of someone's else home and bring it to home and then say,”its mine so I have to clean”. We were nothing like what they say in Urdu,”Begani shadi mey Abdullah Deewana”. Musharraf recently admitted that 9/11 was his personal decision to support USA. Saying US invaded the two countries hence got defeated but Pakistan(read US) can win in Pakistan is quite an innocent statement. The “mode” of war doesn't matter. What actually matters is who's the opponent. THe opponents are sme who were in Afghanistan, The Pashtuns who have a long history to battle with intruders and invaders like Alexander,Genghis ,Red Army and now US.Are we not being emotional fool that now we are considering our Army like demigods who can do everything?come on! people like you first curse the Army and then you people hug them too. Why this hypocrisy?

    Even if I second you for a while then why dont u pay attentions on channel who has been feeding them? why dont u openly say that India has been involved in creating unrest via Afghanistan? even pak army and govt got proof that how Indian agent were caught in the disguise of locals but since our govt dont have guts to say a word against USA or India hence they just say “ghair mulki haath hay”.

    You are seeing what you want to see and unable to produce unbaised analysis. India has been playing same role which it did in 71 by fueling mukti bahani. THis time the other party is nothing but Pashtoons who got agianst the govt due to lack of support by Pakistani governments. India has been supporting them so that they could get form a state which will include Afghanistan as well and kindly dont use Western media terms like “safe heavens” etc to put weight in your statement. You need to better look the entire picture. Today Islamabad rocked again. I dont get it what kind of defeat it is which is giving them more freedom day by day? Why is like that Pakistan is putting all efforts to stop guys from across the border but not stopping guys coming from other continent?

    I think educated Pakistanis should come out of closet and try to realise who is their real friend. Being a Muslim I firmly believe in Quranic verse that the non Muslims can never be our ally. Just like taliban type of people should feel ashamed for ruining the true meaning of Islam, similarly liberal type of Muslims who consider America holier than the God are not lesser pathetic and they should also feel ashamed of what they believe about.

    Army has started considering operation in Northern Punjab, is it not part of infamous Kerry-Lugar Bill that Army must initiate an operation in Punjab? Why is like that US has been so willing to shift war from Afghanistan to Pakistan? US has been trying to save his ass. They want to get out of Afghanistan once again by leaving their job incomplete but they also dont want that their “terrorists” exist around therefore they ordered Pakistan to embrace all crap and let Americans go back to home because American awam is not being able to see all this. Unlike beghairat Pakistanis who don't get worried on drone attacks and killing of Army men, the Americans do care of each others.

    Try to think in a bigger picture. The war is not a video game you would have played on PS3 or on XBox.The war brings many sufferings. Plus US has been trying his best to involve Pakistan forever in war with Pathans so that Pakistan don't pay much attention on India and Kashmir. Saying India is our friend is nothing but living in fools paradise.

    Problem is that most of pro war guys are quite childish in thinking. They are favoring war(read exhibiting their inner extremism) just because 1)they hate a sect of Islam 2)They hate the rule of religion in the country. For that they can do anything! Is it not Irony

  • AdnanSiddiqi

    I disliked their role they played under Gen. (r) Musharraf, by blatantly acting outside the law / constitution of Pakistan.

    Just Musharraf era? what about the pathetic role of Army in 71 war and what about all dictators. How can you ignore the role of the “institution” which forced a lady to write “Military Inc”? Pls saad try to realize what you talk about. What I feel that you are being an opportunist here. As long as Army serving your goal, you are good with it but if same army few months ago said that mehsud and talibans were our friend and they would fight against India then every tom dick and harry had started Army,ISI and other army institutes. This is what I consider hypocrisy. Either accept the institute as whole or reject it.

    Tell me this; has Pakistan army been part of the war against Afghan Taliban? AQ yes, but point me out a single such instance, where Pakistan Army undertook an op against Afghan Taliban?

    Hello! those afghanis on othe part of the world and forigners like Uzbeks,Arabs and others just not landed after 9/11. They have been around since the Red Army days when they invaded Afghanistan. They formed new generation in FATA tribes after getting mingled with them. Pakistn was not being bugged by them till 9/11. Even in Taliban era of Pakistan we were not having such severe suicide bombings. All got started when US landed here and Taliban started fighting against them. For them US is nothing but a Kafir army and they and then old mujahids who are “terrorists” for pro American people, supported Afghan Talibans. People like Munib who live ,eat and drink Western propaganda always try to see things from a single eye hence they always get failed. Pakistan could never be in trouble. All got started when Mush supported US which naturally irked everyone in the area, For them Mush and his guys become supporters of Kafir army hence they dealt them accordingly. Now as per US instruction our local intellectuals also started using terms like “Militants”,”terrorists” etc just because US did it! its really that how easily we intellectuals buy every US crap whole heartily as if some revelation has come from God. We poked our nose on someone else matter and we are suffering now. The party which had to face all heat is now trying to escape and putting Pakistan at risk so that Pakistan keep fighting on their behalf and keep killing everyone by labeling it as “terrorists” who prefer to follow Islam or dont consider Madrisas and scholars as reason for terrorism,

    When folks, such as yourself, fail to see through such details. All it shows me to is that you're lacking in knowledge

    Lacking knowledge? really? can you pls tell me how your stance about the entire issue is NOT different than West? are you saying you dont rely on Western theories and their sources? if not then why is like that most of your analysis was not different than what I usually read in local and foreign papers? why dont u share your Source of Info?

    Why is it then that an intelligent person such as yourself, fails to see logic in operating against such foot-soldiers?

    are you serious? If the operation is all about pro Indian/Afghan elements then why didnot might army nd govt shared with Awam? what is the fear? why our bloggers/media people shamelessly ignore this factor and continue to whine about what I am tired of reading in western papers?

    Mehsuds are doing in Pakistan has got nothing to do with Islam, and hence should be countered.

    well , though most of pro West people consider me a guy support terrorism(hence TALibans) but no where I endorsed suicide bombings so be it mehsud or non mehsud these bombers are not serving Islam just like their opponents(the left extremist) not serving Islam, Yes I do talk about finding the reason that how one gets ready to blow himself up. I do talk about to understand the cause behind it. what is the tragedy which makes one to reach to such mental state. u and me will not get agreed to blow ourselves up. Atleast I will not unless I face some severe disaster in which I lose all my family. Be it Palestine,SriLanka ,Iraq or Pakistan, the story is almost same, even there is a Western research about the issue which discussed the reason behind it. One agrees or not but most of new bombers were the relatives of those innocent students who were killed by the secular dictator in Lalmasjid. The brothers and husbands of those poor girls voluntarily offered themselves to fulfill the agenda of others. such ppl were easy to brain wash then people like me. Have u ever tried to realize the pain of those guys?Offocurse not because you are having a wonderful life in Australia enjoying luxuries hence easy for you to support war hence hate “terrorists” but not for those who actually face the things. These so called retard journalists who tirelessly sing the same anthem of terrorism again and again will never have face the tragedy. i wil see how will they react if they face the same fate like those who present themselves for bombing. Such people never try to understand human psychology. Either its due to their ignorance or do it intentionally. God knows better but hating a community or people who re supporting Islamic rule of law in country just because religion irks them,is not going to produce any result at all.

    And while you're talking about Islambad being rocked, pray tell me about a single counter-insurgency war – which was managed after fighting a few battles?

    Can you please tell me which “conventional” war was being fought before which is over now? they were blowing themselves up in past and they are doing again, infact with more intensity. All educational institutes have been closed in Pakistan, why such people are spreading more now? i dont know why are you being like Hussain Haqqani that you stick on a single point. Tell me why Army initiated an operation? to save Pakistan from bombers nd other elements. Did it happen? nope! we displaced 3 million people at the cost of more bombings. Sorry saad ths is not a victory at all. Maybe u have joined Zardari regime hence hve got skills to say “Sab acha hay!” :-)

    Army, from what I know, is not considering an operation in Southern Punjab

    I read in papers

    To answer Munib that how to getrid of extremism, the answer is simple:

    1) Stop supporting and pampering US' interests
    2)read #1
    3)read #2

    Wise person will not waste time to figure out that US is not popular in Pakistan, AWam are suffering hence they re silent but days are not far when common man will not bear it anymore and will react. Givin free hand to US to challenge writ of govt but not to US enemies will never solve the problem. We need to getrid of hypocrisy, We need to realise that Americans will never be our friend at all no matter what! read the history of countries where US created the mess and you will realize that US dont care about those either who work for them, Americans hire guys to fulfill agenda,once the task is done, they throw them away just like condoms. So those who aid US need to decide that whether they are happy to be condoms for US or want to be original and support the truth.

    ps: sorry for the condom analogy but i didnt have somethin else to define such people
    pps: see I do read your replies

  • Saad


    So how many officers or generals responsible for the 71' debacle are around right now, for which you'd like me to harbor 'hatred' for the present cadres of Army? No, that doesn't meant that under historical perspective, I don't hold them responsible for the event, but what does it have got anything to do with the present day situation?

    Also, the statement, during the crisis that emerged after Mumbai attacks, which cited an ISI source saying that Taliban (TTP in particular) are our assets, was highly concocted. I'd like you to show me a single credible source (not from Hamid Mir or the likes, please) which mentions such a claim.

    In simple words, if I may, if Army is doing its job of securing Pakistan – I do not have any issues with it. But if the same army is trampling upon the constitution and law of
    Pakistan – I've got plenty of issues with it. It's that simple. Now, pray show me – how can you apply your self-derived law of hypocrisy on that stance.

    Also, by calling for an outright rejection of the institution – with no way out, you're acting no different from the left-wing fascists that you accuse others of. More of like
    two faces of the same coin, if you ask me.

    As for your reasoning on the presence of foreign fighters in Pakistan, given that logic, Americans have been in Pakistan since the very inception of this nation? How does that
    justify the latter part of your argument, where you've asked Pakistan to completely disband its ties with 'em? So you'd want others to pay heed to rules set by you, but are not
    ready to follow 'em up yourself?

    Whilst yes, we did not face this 'severity' of suicide bombings in Pakistan; we did face them nonetheless. The ideology has always been there (modus operandi was first Shiite
    vs Sunni – now it's blow everything till kingdom come), and I've already given you the link to my post, where I've argued that particular aspect of this war. If TTP and those
    foreign fighters, that you seem to know so well, are that much against the US army – why's that you never hear about 'em targeting American interests in Afghanistan?

    Do you know Adnan, that TTP and those foreign fighters that you're arguing about, operate exclusively inside Pakistan? I did mention the fact to you that if your argument is
    correct; why hasn't government – ever – moved against Waziri and Bhittani tribes (Hafiz Nazir and Gul Bahadur) which operate inside Afghanistan? You've very conveniently
    bypassed that particular paragraph of my argument and only picked and chose pieces of your liking. Treat my entire post as an argument and then post a reply, please, take that
    as a request.

    Yes, you do lack in knowledge, when debating this argument. Why else did you choose to ignore my point regarding operations undertaken by Pakistan army and their intended
    targets? You've kept on talking about 'mukti bahni', 'taliban' and 'foreign fighters' without divulging into the details of their area of operations, without talking about their
    targets, without referring to their modus operandi, without talking about their agenda and without even answering the questions that I raised about the authencity of your claim
    which suggest that they do not operate against US interests.

    I'm not here to engage in a war of rhetoric with you, or to put a label on you – as you might have seen elsewhere on the blogosphere but if you can engage me on facts, please do so by all means, I'm always up for a friendly discourse.

    Pray tell me, what has the government not shared with you – when it comes to divulging details about the antics and agenda of TTP? Were you not aware of the fact, until I
    pointed it out to you, that TTP does not operate in Afghanistan? I thought you were the one, who pointed it out to me that some 'foreign' nations are funding their war, against
    Pakistan. So why the sudden about face?

    Can you back your claim up through an authentic source, that most – if not all – suicide bombers that have struck inside Pakistan were male relatives of female students which perished in operation silence. I do not adhere to that very simplistic explanation, since we've had Uzbeks, Arabs and others blowing themselves up in Pakistan as well – so I'd really like to see you back that claim up. I do agree with the brain-washing bit, but I consider ideology more important a factor here than personal anguish. Just as it's been the case in Sri Lanka, which waged a long war against LTTE, as well as Palestine.

    The hate, as you put it, exists on both ends of the equation. The same harmless students, as you put it, were responsible for drawing the first blood by killing a rangers' guy. I'm sure, his family would have been very happy about it – no? I do agree with the argument though, that as long as one party will completely absolve itself of all crimes, while holding the other one responsible for all evil – it'll be hard for either of 'em to find peace. What do you suggest needs be done about that?

    I didn't get your bit about asking me, as to which conventional war – that was being fought is over now? What did you mean by that? Also, the educational institutes were only closed for a day. All of the universities are open again, starting today. So much for capitulating?

    So you want to know why has the army initiated the operations, great. How about you read this post of mine, and the previous ones to it – describing ops in Swat to know that? Counter-insurgency doesn't get obliterated in a single day. It hasn't in the history of mankind. Especially when backed up by an ideology. It's almost always a prolonged war, until the very cradles of a particular insurgency get destroyed, like in the case of Sri Lanka.

    In this instance, Army is waging a war to stop insurgents from operating safe havens. Let me ask you this, what was the daily occurrences of suicide attacks in 2007, 2008, earlier part of 2009 (prior to Swat Op) and now? Do the maths yourself.

  • imranabbasi

    Dear Saad….glad to read your latest blog…..however my perception on the end-result game is a bit different….the main purpose of this war in Afghanistan & northern parts of Pakistan is to secure one of the options on having oil routes from central asia across Afghanistan to Pakistan ports (part of the Great Game)…This is important also due to the global geo-strategies currently being worked upon to isolate Iran….Both US & Euro international companies are extremely interested in investing on these projects & pressurizing the occupying countries to now negotiate with their enemies within Afghanistan as time is now of essence…..
    With regards to the war with TTP….its a collective responsibilty of all Pakistanis ….this monster was allowed to be created and then nurtured within our neighbourhoods to become a blood sucking devil….the story started well in 70's & was then cashed in by the oppurtunistic military regime of 80's and civilian govt.s of 90's…the thought at that time was that we may eventually be able to create a loose confederation with Afghanistan to counter india's hegemony in the region…& then include couple of CA's newly independent muslim countries as well….
    Waht we are seeing now is a reversal of the whole game with India doing the same with us….!