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Marbles

Massive Operation Launched Against Taliban

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We knew the military was preparing for the eventual showdown. A few hours ago the army spokesman announced the start of an unprecedented massive operation against the Taliban and Al-Qaidah hideouts in North Waziristan.

 

Operaton 'Azb launched.

 

('Azb being the sword of the Prophet that he used during the battle of Badr - this I'm hearing the TV channels say)

 

A military official [told] that the coordinated operation — involving air force, artillery, tanks and ground troops — has already started.

 

As of now North Wazirastan Agency  has been isolated by deploying troops along its border with neighboring agencies and FATA Regions to block any move of terrorists in and out of the Agency,” said the statement, adding that within the agency, troops have moved and cordoned off all terrorists bases, including in the town of Mirali and Miranshah.

 

Afghan security forces have also been requested to seal the border on their side to facilitate the operation. “They have also been requested to initiate immediate measures to eliminate TTP terrorists and their sanctuaries in Kunar, Nuristan and other areas of Afghanistan.

 

...a security official on ground said that thousands of troops have been moved for action.

 

“Thousands of troops will participate in this action. You can roughly say 25,000 to 30,000 troops will be involved in the operation,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.

 

Asif said that the decision of the operation against terrorists reflects the wishes of people of the country.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/722202/army-launches-operation-in-north-waziristan/

 

Now, extremist Talibans have a lot of support among the some sections of Pakistani society, in particular middle class trading/merchant classes and madarassah-going people and their mentoring networks.

 

But unlike in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, the pro or anti standpoints aren't divided along sectarian lines. Of course, all Shias support the all-out operation, and so do non-Muslim minorities, but so do the masses of ordinary Sunnis (this matters a lot).

 

Even Sunni Islamic parties which aren't of the Wahhabist persuasion are supporting the operation. I just heard Sarwat Qadri, the head of one of the largest Sunni parties, to pray for the complete annihilation of Taliban khawarij.

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Massive support for Pakistan’s decision to launch a large-scale operation in North Waziristan was seen on Twitter in the hour that followed the announcement.

 

Top journalists, opinion makers, politicians and thousands of other local Twitter users generally expressed sentiments ranging from relief to enthusiastic support.

 

A few voices expressed caution and concern with regards to the expected terrorist backlash across the country, particular urban areas.

 

http://www.dawn.com/news/1112911/operation-zarb-e-azb-gets-a-thumbs-up-on-social-media

 

Michael Kugleman:

"#Karachi airport attack cited as last straw, but I wonder if ISIS advance in Iraq also played into thinking to launch #Waziristan op now."

 

Zarar Khuhro:

"Yes blowback is a huge fear, because it's not as if terrorists were attacking us anyway"

 

Being Pashtun:

"The Rawafidh of Pakistan are celebrating the decision of Pakistani army of launching operation in North #Waziristan Bunch of bloody losers!"

 

Dr. Asim Yousafzai:

"For those of you missing the Great Khan. #IK is back with a bang! Says #Waziristan op will be suicidal. Suicidal for who?"

Edited by Marbles

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Being Pashtun:

"The Rawafidh of Pakistan are celebrating the decision of Pakistani army of launching operation in North #Waziristan Bunch of bloody losers!"

 

Convey my response to that damn pashtun,

 

Rafidhi Pasthun:

"The ordinary pashtun, though confused, longs 4 peace not your damned fitnah. You are so upset by the celebrations of Rifadha,awwww, what a looser."

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June 16, 2014

 

Air force jet aircraft destroyed six hideouts in the thickly wooded area of Shawal, killing 27 militants.

Our defence correspondent Kamran Yousaf tells us that at least seven militants were killed in the Shawal area in the first ground encounter between security forces and militants since the army moved into North Waziristan Agency.

 

Of yesterday operation, I saw reports that put the terrorist death toll to 80. It has now emerged that 140 were killed, mostly Uzbeks and Uighurs and their local minions.

 

"Many East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) terrorists and their affiliates have also been killed in the strikes. It was a massive blow to the terrorists and one of their main communication centres has been dismantled"

 

Sources: The Express Tribune PK and Dawn.

 

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First army casualties reported.

 

According to ISPR, six soldiers were killed while three others were injured in an IED explosion near Ghulam Khan town near Afghan border in North Waziristan tribal region.

 

Express Tribune.

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The Pakistani Army is a capable force.

I'm sure they''ll crush the Taliban and Co easily.

Let's hope they just do it properly, or perhaps, come in for some 'maintenance' work every now and then ;).

 

The good thing is that the overwhelming majority of Pakistanis support this action. Sunni, Shia, it doesn't matter. Time to attack the Wahabbi curse on multiple fronts.

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The Pakistani Army is a capable force.

I'm sure they''ll crush the Taliban and Co easily.

Let's hope they just do it properly, or perhaps, come in for some 'maintenance' work every now and then ;).

 

The good thing is that the overwhelming majority of Pakistanis support this action. Sunni, Shia, it doesn't matter. Time to attack the Wahabbi curse on multiple fronts.

 

The reluctance of Pak military establishment to let go of its disastrous, terrible policies of the past has been the real hindrance against an all-out operation against the terrorists. Every time they went to fight, it was to kill some, scare others, drive out another group and even to save the 'good' Taliban. Pakistan had had to pay for this double game dearly.

 

To cut the long story short, I am still not convinced that the army has decided to go against "all terrorists" regardless of "hue and colour", as the ISPR statement said.

 

Surely, the TTP and their allies which are wreaking havoc inside Pakistan will be eliminated, if they don't manage to escape across the border (and this is where Afghanistan's cooperation will in part determine the success of Pak operation), but those Taliban groups which hitherto had a peace accord with Pak establishment (eg Haqqani network), I don't see on how so suddenly the army will turn against them too.

 

We will have to wait and see.

 

According to an ISPR press release, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Raheel Sharif emphasized that all terrorists along with their sanctuaries must be eliminated without any discrimination.

 

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The reluctance of Pak military establishment to let go of its disastrous, terrible policies of the past has been the real hindrance against an all-out operation against the terrorists. Every time they went to fight, it was to kill some, scare others, drive out another group and even to save the 'good' Taliban. Pakistan had had to pay for this double game dearly.

 

To cut the long story short, I am still not convinced that the army has decided to go against "all terrorists" regardless of "hue and colour", as the ISPR statement said.

 

Surely, the TTP and their allies which are wreaking havoc inside Pakistan will be eliminated, if they don't manage to escape across the border (and this is where Afghanistan's cooperation will in part determine the success of Pak operation), but those Taliban groups which hitherto had a peace accord with Pak establishment (eg Haqqani network), I don't see on how so suddenly the army will turn against them too.

 

We will have to wait and see.

Somehow i do have the same feeling...

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Somehow i do have the same feeling...

 

At this moment I am not so much worried about Haqqani Taliban or those who have refrained from launching attacks within Pakistan. I want the army to first and foremost deal with the vultures of the TTP and their al-Qaidah and sectarian allies. This would be phase I of the operation. If Afghanistan cooperates, the war may well be broadened.

 

Afghanistan's cooperation can't be emphasised enough.

 

To recap, Pakistan has been tolerating Afghan Taliban for years, dismissing frequent calls by Afghans and Americans to act against them. With the rise of the TTP, Afghanistan got a chance to pay back in kind.

 

The previous chief of TTP, Hakimullah Mehsud, was being helped by the Afghan government to carry out attacks in Pakistan. Recall that last year a cousin of Hakimullah, Latif Mehsud, was apprehended by the Americans in Afghanistan, who was then found to be in touch with Afghan intelligence. Link 1. Link 2

 

Afghan covert support for the TTP continue. Fazlullah, the current head of TTP, is based in Kunar province, so are their main players.

 

Now, it's come out into the open that Pak army is in talks with Abdullah Abdullah already (they think he will win), to gain his confidence. It is hard to persuade Abadullah (or Karzai) about the seriousness and goodwill of Pakistan, since the mistrust goes back decades in time and runs deep. Only if Afghan govt promises to relent on their tacit support of the TTP chief, can then the current operation really succeed fully.

 

If Afghanistan takes no measures to close in on the militants fleeing across the border, or if they turn a blind eye and let them disappear in the nether regions of Afghanistan, they will only regroup in time and come back.

 

Now, this is only possible if Afghans see that Pakistan is taking out the Afghan Taliban too. It is in this context that the Pak army chief has declared that the operation would be against all terrorists without discrimination (which include the hitherto 'good' Taliban like the Haqqanis, who are a big pain for Afghan govt), partly to send a message to Afghan govt to reciprocate the goodwill and cordon off the escape routes leading into Afghanistan.

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Update

 

At least 15 more militants were killed in fresh bombings early Tuesday by jet fighters that targeted insurgent hideouts in the North Waziristan tribal region.

 

Gunship helicopters and jets targeted militant compounds in Dattakhel Tehsil in the fresh strike. More than 187 militants have been killed since operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched in the tribal region.

 

Dawn

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At this moment I am not so much worried about Haqqani Taliban or those who have refrained from launching attacks within Pakistan.

Now you are starting to sound like Dr. Alvi lol

 

 

Thanks for making this thread and please keep us updated.

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The army has finally come out with a carrots or stick policy, offering fighters a chance to give up or go to war. I think with 'surrender points' set up, at least a few Pakistani rookie fighters, not yet battle-hardened, will be hoping to avail them or face near-certain death.

 

 

This operation appears to have far greater mainstream support than previous ones, with continuous attacks and faltering talks playing a huge role in turning around the opinion. The army played its cards correctly in allowing the civilians to go ahead with dialogue, knowing fully well that negotiations were bound to fail. By not actively interfering with the process, the army won over much needed public support, and presented itself as a responsible institution.

 

The Karachi Airport attack presented it with a golden opportunity to move to the front and overtake 'incompetent' civilian institutions in the fight against the Taliban. The Karachi Corps Commander reached the airport well before the Chief Minister did and took control over the operation. DG ISPR's tweets became the first point of official news, helped in no small part by PPP's phenomenally incompetent government.

Also note that the ISPR, the Military's public relations wing, announced the operation, not the government. 

 

Reports say all previous agreements, excluding of course the one with Haqqani Network, stand dissolved. There were already media reports over rising tensions between the military and Gul Bahadur's group, and now they too perhaps are a target.

 

The establishment is yet to learn its lesson though. Jamaat ud Dawaa and other 'good' groups have taken out rallies in favour of the operation, and no-go taliban dominated areas in Karachi and Lashker e Jhangvi strongholds around Quetta seem least perturbed by the operation. 

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Now you are starting to sound like Dr. Alvi lol

 

I doubt if the army can afford an all-out war against militants of all stripes and persuasions. It's a big mess that has to be sorted step by step, if there is the will.

 

The 'good' Taliban are not stupid; they know they can't attack Pakistan if they want to retain their bases in the tribal areas. The army will let them be for the moment. Going by army's thinking, they will not want to turn a formidable militant network against them, without getting any tangible dividends.

 

Until the new situation becomes clear after the withdrawal of NATO boots from Afghanistan, the military establishment is unlikely to change its polices vis-a-vis Haqqani group and other 'good' Taliban.

 

The establishment is yet to learn its lesson though. Jamaat ud Dawaa and other 'good' groups have taken out rallies in favour of the operation, and no-go taliban dominated areas in Karachi and Lashker e Jhangvi strongholds around Quetta seem least perturbed by the operation.

 

The establishment will soon realise it can't ignore terrorist sleeper cells in the urban centres. The blowback of this operation will come and it will be quite severe, given how, according to some reports, up to 7000 Taliban and their sympathisers have managed to infiltrate in Karachi alone.

 

And the most peaceful province of Punjab will also bear the brunt. This is causing Sharif brothers sleepless nights, and this is the only or main reason they were still reluctant to go full throttle against the terrorists (so much for national leadership lol). As an army man said today:

 

<<<“The biggest challenge of this operation is that our success in the tribal areas could quickly turn into losses in the plains of Punjab,” a senior military official close to the operation told Reuters.

 

“That is Nawaz Sharif's biggest challenge,” he added: “To convince the public that it's better to bleed once than to die slowly everyday.”>>> http://www.dawn.com/news/1113336

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Drones join in.

 

At least six militants were killed by the drone strike, four of them Uzbeks and two Punjabis, it is being reported.


IMU had put all their (bad) eggs in one basket, thinking Pakistan was save and will continue to host them.

 

Uzbekistan president Islam Karimov thanks Pakistani military for making his life easy.

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