Zardari-Gilani-Kayani troika for delay in NW operation despite commitment to US

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ISLAMABAD - This is not the right time for Pakistan to open another warfront, be that North Waziristan, the troika of President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, and Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani reportedly decided in a meeting held at the Presidency on Tuesday.

“Matters concerning security situation were discussed during the meeting as part of consultative process,” The Nation quoted the official handout, as saying.

However, well-placed sources revealed that the US demand of launching yet another army operation against militants in North Waziristan was on top of their agenda during the crucial meeting.

The three apex leaders were on the same page in realising the army’s preoccupations with flood relief and the government’s financial constraints in the wake of flood-hit economy, besides the massive opposition to the new taxation, the sources added.

According to the sources, the meeting noted that the perplexed situation in the region, especially across the Durand Line, hardly allows for the commencement of a new army operation in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

Opening of a new front at this stage could rather be counterproductive to the ongoing national drive against extremism, as did the US drone attacks in these areas, the sources maintained.

Although there has been no official announcement regarding the possible North Waziristan operation so far, the government had reportedly promised the US to do the needful in this regard as early as possible.

Now, the resolution at the apex level to delay an intended operation in North Waziristan because of a number of reasons would be conveyed to the US on an appropriate time, the sources added.

The trio also reviewed NATO’s schedule for troops withdrawal from neighbouring Afghanistan, with special reference to India’s increased role in Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s US-backed peace plan. (ANI)

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