Tag Archives: Pakistan army

Come Back To Buner Urge Pakistan Leaders

The situation in Pakistan appears brighter than it was a few weeks ago, but it is still unclear if the Pakistan army is as successful in the Swat Valley and Buner as it claims in recent announcements. Buner, which fell to the Taliban is the subject of a strong Pakistan army offense that supposedly is clearing the area of the Taliban and forcing them to flee. There are even unconfirmed reports some Taliban soldiers are forcing barbers to shave their beards so they can hide within the population. Pakistan officers admit there are still hundreds of Taliban soldiers holed up in the mountains and fighting to defend their positions.

However, Pakistan soldiers are now fighting the Taliban instead of remaining in peaceful slumber on the border with India ready for a war that will not come. Curfew has been lifted in areas of the Swat Valley and a trickle of people are returning to their homes, many of which have been wiped out in the fighting.

Question: is the Pakistan offense going to indicate a commitment to keep the Taliban out of these areas or will soldiers leave only to witness the return of the Taliban?

Pakistan Army Pounds Taliban

The moment of truth has arrived for the Pakistan army and it has responded with vengeance to the refusal of the Taliban to adhere to agreements in the Swat Valley. Thousands of Pakistan soldiers are pounding away at the Taliban which is dug in by the town of Mingora and airplanes are bombing enemy positions. General Athar Abbas said the goal was to “eliminate” the insurgents from the Swat Valley and restore its population to the rule of Pakistan, not Taliban law. A spokesperson for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says an estimated one million people will have fled or are in the process of fleeing the battle zone as fighting intensifies in fury. It appears more and more Pakistanis are now recognizing dealing with the Taliban is not an “American issue” but one that concerns the future of their nation.

The consensus supporting the current army operation is present, but the question is how long will this feeling endure, particularly if thousands are killed in the fighting. The other unanswered question is to what extent has army leadership come to realize they must crush the Taliban to save their nation. The future will answer those questions.

Can Pakistan’s Army Defeat The Taliban?

The Pakistan army is now conducting an offense in the Swat Valley against Taliban forces. From all indications, the fighting is fierce, thousands of civilians are fleeing for their lives, but there are many unanswered questions. The reality is that a few thousand Pakistan soldiers are fighting in this battle while over two hundred thousand remain on the border with India facing an enemy that does not exist. The Indian army is not going to invade Pakistan, but to the leadership of Pakistan the first priority is to maintain a large armed force on a border to fight against an enemy that is not going to attack. Why? It becomes increasingly clear the Pakistan army is divided with a large segment pleased the Taliban is extending its power. After all, the Pakistan secret service, the ISI, created the Taliban and has continually given it support.

The real question is whether the United States can influence Pakistan’s armed force to take a proactive stance in the fight against the Taliban. Money without strings will not result in a determined Pakistan army willing to fight the Taliban. If they want money, it must be linked to a massive attack on the Taliban. At some point Pakistan’s military must decide if they want an independent Pakistan that is a democracy or a theocracy under the control of the Taliban.

Pakistan And Taliban Fight For Village

Pakistan’s leaders assumed they could negotiate with Taliban leaders for some form of modus vivendi under which the insurgents would end violence in return for control of a province. But, to Taliban leaders, a single bite is simply prelude to devouring the entire animal being consumed that night. After Pakistan surrendered control of the Swat Valley and allowed the Taliban to impose Sharia law– even though many of those provisions violated the Pakistan constitution. Within a month, Taliban insurgents slipped over the provincial border and took control of Buner and then went on to still another area where they drove out police and government officials.

The February Pact is now a dead letter unless Pakistan’s government is foolish to believe the Taliban will agree to survive as a peaceful group. Heavy fighting now rages around Buner and dozens of militants are dead along with civilians and some Pakistan soldiers. The unknown question is whether the Pakistan army will continue the assault or will it back away still another time. There is only one road to peace in Pakistan and that is wiping out the Taliban and ensuring they do not control any provincial governments.

The world awaits how the Pakistan army handles the current attack on Taliban forces. If the Taliban successfully repels the Pakistan army, the future will be gloomy for any peace in Pakistan.

US Missiles Create Problems In Pakistan

During the past year, increased use of drone missile attack planes have created ongoing problems with the Pakistan government which fears that all too often the air strikes result in the death of innocent civilians and thus provide al-Qaeda with a huge propoganda weapon. Leon Panetta, new head of the CIA is currently in Pakistan to discuss the issue. His visit is also linked to the current political turmoil which erupted when forces supporting the PML-N organized huge protests to get a supreme court justice ousted by former President Musharraf restored to office. American officials fear these internal conflict are distracting from dealing with the threat of militant activity.

The center of the current dispute over missiles comes down to are these air attacks actually critical in defeating the Taliban or al-Qaeda. US military leaders insist that “senior” Taliban leaders are killed, but is the death of these men significant in dealing with the threat of militancy? Another problem is the lack of interest or desire on the part of Pakistan military officials to get involved in fighting militants when their main focus is the fight with India over Kashmir. Will still another visit by Americans change the real problem?