Lahore, June 30 (ANI): In a bid to make its 'Get Baitullah' mission successful, the Pakistan Army is paying heed to lessons learnt by the British military some 70 year ago in Waziristan.
When the British went to war against Waziristan tribesmen more than 70 years ago, the ensuing guerrilla conflict lasted more than a decade. The British never captured the renegade leader and finally withdrew from the region.
Now, the Pakistan Army is trying to isolate Baitullah Mehsud before sending its troops into battle.
"We are trying to shape the environment before we move in for the fight. We are also trying to minimise the loss of life. Ours is the only institution that can stand up to the militants, but public support is crucial. When we do move in, it must be only against Baitullah and his group. We cannot afford to provoke a tribal uprising," the Daily Times quoted Major General Athar Abbas, as saying. owever, the results have not been very satisfactory.
Last Tuesday, a Mehsud loyalist assassinated a key pro-government tribal leader and US drone strikes killed 46 people at the funeral of a slain Mehsud commander.
The delay in launching a full operation is giving Mehsud plenty of time to gather support.
According to sources, the military is concerned about being pushed into the new campaign too soon after the Swat campaign.
They added that there were also concern in the military that the US drone attacks were killing only a few important militant figures but stoking anti-American sentiment throughout the tribal region.
General Abbas said he would not say how soon the ground operation in Waziristan would begin.
However, he said, "We are dealing with a lot of complexities and constraints. We can only go so far without hurting our long-term interests." (ANI)