Pakistani militants in North Waziristan abandon peace deal
The step is a blow to the military as it battles a Taliban leader in a neighboring province. The two Taliban movements could now join forces.
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Writing in The News, a leading Pakistani daily, security analyst Rahimullah Yusufzai points out that opening a new front in North Waziristan would overextend the military. But he adds that the military has no choice but to respond to the recent activities of North Waziristan-based militants.Skip to next paragraph
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Opening a new front when the armed forces are fighting on a number of fronts including Swat, Buner, Dir Lower, Bajaur, Mohmand, Darra Adamkhel, Orakzai and South Waziristan would over-stretch the military and mix-up its priorities. But the military cannot ignore the deadly ambush on the 250-member convoy in which a significant number of soldiers were killed and injured [on Sunday]. A senior government official said such attacks could demoralise the troops if punitive measures aren't undertaken.
Yusufzai adds that the North Waziristan peace agreement has been in danger of collapsing for some time now, as militants have attacked military convoy and personnel several times in recent weeks.
Previously, there had been concerns that delays in the launch of a full-scale offensive against Mehsud would give him time to garner support from other militant groups, reported the Daily Times, an English-language Pakistani daily.
According to an analysis in The Long War Journal, the Pakistan military will face a sizable force if Mehsud teams up with militant commanders in neighboring tribal areas, including North Waziristan.
[Tribal leaders Maulvi] Nazir, Bahadar, and the Haqqanis each host their share of training camps and safe houses for al Qaeda and allied terror movements. The groups also conduct cross-border attacks against Coalition and Afghan forces in Afghanistan....
A failure to tackle these commanders also leaves the military exposed to a potential counterattack. Bahadar, the Haqqanis, and Nazir are estimated to have more than 50,000 forces combined. If they decide to honor their agreement with Baitullah under the United Mujahideen Council, these forces could join the estimated 30,000 under Baitullah's command, and slug it out with the Pakistani Army in rugged, mountainous terrain that is well suited to favor the defenders.