Pakistani Pledge to Rout Taliban In Tribal Region Is Put on Hold: Story by Joshua Partlow of the Washington Post
Pakistan Military has shot itself in the foot. Now they have 2 Million displaced people from Swat to take care of, and they have destroyed their buildings and infrastructure, now want them to return home. This is the excuse for not going into South Wazirstan now. But the answer is not that simple. Read these two parts to the full story here: http://tinyurl.com/nunj9t
Fighting in South Waziristan also poses a much greater challenge than in Swat. More than 400,000 people live in the tribal district, which is a bit larger than Delaware. Baitullah Mehsud commands about 10,000 to 12,000 fighters, including 4,000 foreign fighters, according to Pakistani intelligence officials. He pays his foot soldiers $60 to $80 a month, higher than the average local policeman’s salary. Al-Qaeda, meanwhile, has increased its focus on uniting the Taliban and other radical Islamist groups in the fight against Pakistan, betting its success on the survival of the Taliban, according to intelligence officials.
“It will be longer and bloodier,” another intelligence official said of the fight against Baitullah Mehsud. “He’s been made into someone 10 feet tall.”
Mehsud’s stature has grown in part because of recent decisions by other Taliban commanders, such as Maulvi Nasir and Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who once cooperated with Pakistan but have announced their intention to fight security forces. Their representatives said they have been outraged by missile strikes from unmanned American aircraft. Instead of being able to rely on rival Taliban commanders to assist the army, the drone attacks have unified them against the state, intelligence officials said.
More from the story:
Pakistan’s military has blockaded the tribal district and bombed it from the air, and it insists that the ground assault will proceed. But as the clock ticks, military analysts worry that fighting in the mountains will be more difficult as the weather turns cold in the fall. The delay has raised questions about Pakistan’s commitment to waging war against Taliban fighters the state has nurtured in the past.
“It’s an insane dream to expect anything different from the Pakistani government,” said Ali Wazir, a South Waziristan native and a politician with the secular Awami National Party. “The Taliban are the brainchildren of the Pakistan army for the last 30 years. They are their own people. Could you kill your own brother?”