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Pakistan Plans Attack To 'Break Taliban's Back'

Pakistan plans a full-fledged offensive to break the Taliban's back in its tribal belt stronghold close to the Afghan border. Quoting senior military and intelligence officials, The Daily Telegraph claimed a steady build-up of army

PTI [ Updated: October 03, 2009 1:14 IST ]
pakistan plans attack to break taliban s back
pakistan plans attack to break taliban s back

Pakistan plans a full-fledged offensive to break the Taliban's back in its tribal belt stronghold close to the Afghan border.

Quoting senior military and intelligence officials, The Daily Telegraph claimed a steady build-up of army units, the evacuation of large numbers of civilians from the South Waziristan area and a series of successful drone attacks on Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders had created the best opportunity to defeat the militants in their heart-land.

"This is the right time for a full-fledged operation against the Taliban to wipe them out from Waziristan and break their back in their last strong-hold," an intelligence official told the newspaper.

"It will be a tough fight. We know that they are well armed and they will respond with full might, but the death of Baitullah Mehsud has demoralised many of their commanders and foot soldiers."

Military planners believe they now have a small window of opportunity to defeat the Taliban in South Waziristan before winter snow sets in next month.

Officials said an army blockade of South Waziristan's main four entry points had sealed the battle area and that their soldiers now controlled the main strategic heights.

Intelligence officials said the government was still negotiating with warlords Maulvi Nazir and Hafiz Gul Bahadur. 

Media reports said that Pakistan Army was negotiating with other tribal and militia heads to get them to back the offensive against Taliban. 

The tribal heads are known to control several thousand fighters and have made deals with Pakistani authorities in the past. PTI

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