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Monday, 19 October 2009

Working the Tribals

The Pakistani army is using the strategy of attacking militant strongholds while working to make alliances across South and North Waziristan.

Geo News reports that a letter has gone out from Army Chief of Staff General Kayani;

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Monday clarified that the objective of the operation in South Waziristan is not to target peace and country loving people of Mehsud tribes, instead the aim is to eliminate Uzbek, local and foreign terrorists.

Dawn.com stated,

According to government officials, militant commander Maulvi Nazir and his Ahmadi Wazir tribe in the Wana region had publicly dissociated themselves from the Mehsuds. And they were confident that commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, based in North Waziristan, would stay neutral.

Two thirds of South Waziristan is made up of Mehsud tribes, the rest are Wazirs.

There has been concern amongst analysts that tribes in North Waziristan, at present focused on supporting, training and engaging with the Afghan Taliban, might turn to supporting Hakimullah Mehsud and his network in South Waziristan if the conflict continues for too long, so it would seem that the Pakistani army is engaging in preventative action.

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