Monday, May 30, 2011

Pakistan 'Plans' North Waziristan Offensive

Pakistan will soon launch an air and ground military offensive in the tribal region of North Waziristan, the main sanctuary for armed groups on the border with Afghanistan, media reports say.

The United States has long demanded that Pakistan launch an offensive in the region to hunt down the Haqqani network, one of the deadliest Afghan armed factions fighting American troops in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been reluctant, but has come under intense US pressure to act after it was discovered that Osama bin Laden had been living in the country. 

The News, a leading Pakistani daily, quoted unnamed "highly placed sources" as saying Pakistani airforce planes would soften up targets under the "targeted military offensive" before ground operations were launched.

The newspaper said an understanding had been reached over the offensive during last week's visit by Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state.

But a Pakistani military spokesman denied the reports as based on "rumours".