Islamabad, Sept 28 : Pakistani General confident that the troops, which are fighting a mountain battle, can defeat the Taliban insurgents within a matter of months.
Pakistani forces in an offensive for control over the northwestern region of Bajaur have killed up to 1,000 Islamist militants. According to the Nation, for the past six weeks Pakistani troops supported by helicopter gunships, tanks and heavy artillery have begun to drive Taliban militants out of the tribal area of Bajaur.
Militants have regularly attacked the village compounds with rockets since they were pushed out two weeks ago.
The army claims it has killed over 1,000 militants in Bajaur, a place described by commanders as the "centre of gravity of the insurgency".
"The threat from Bajaur radiates in all directions," said Major General Tariq Khan, the commanding officer of the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force engaged in the bulk of counter-insurgency operations in the tribal areas.
"If we dismantle this here and destroy its leadership then 65 percent of militancy will be controlled. If they lose this, they lose everything," added Major General Khan.
Khar, Bajaur's main town, and its surroundings are deserted. Soldiers have taken over the area's numerous schools and nearly a third of Bajaur's one million people have fled the fighting.
Before the operation, militants had launched over 60 attacks on paramilitary troops, cut off all main roads, set up training camps and assassinated a dozen tribal leaders.
The battle for Bajaur began only after 2,000-3,000 militants overran a paramilitary post at Loi Sam, which the military has not yet retaken.
Militants have dug into areas with fox-holes, tunnels and trenches and over 65 troops were killed and 200 wounded. The Taliban have gathered reinforcements from the Waziristan tribal areas and others are coming from Afghanistan.