Pakistan requires 'months' for Waziristan push, says Army

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Islamabad, Aug 18(ANI): Pakistani Army has said that it would require months to prepare for a ground offensive against the Taliban in their South Waziristan stronghold on the Afghan border.

Lieutenant-General Nadeem Ahmed, Commander of the 1 Strike Corps in Mangla in Pakistan Kashmir, said this while reacting to comments made by visiting US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke.

Holbrooke has already said that Washington is scrambling to get the equipment the Pakistani Army needs and that the timing of any ground operation was up to the army and government.

Pakistani forces have surrounded Taliban fighters in their tribal lands in South Waziristan, where Pakistani warplanes have attacked Taliban positions and US drone aircraft have launched several missile strikes that apparently killed militant leader Baitullah Mehsud.

Lt. Gen. Ahmed further said that the Pakistani military is waiting for the right time and is trying to create the right conditions for launching a future ground offensive by imposing a 'tight' blockade around the area.

"Once you feel that the conditions are right and you have been able to substantially dent their infrastructure and their fighting capacity, then you go in for a ground offensive," The Dawn quoted Lt. Gen. Ahmed, as saying.

"That may happen in winter, or even beyond, probably," he added.

Lt. Gen. Ahmed also informed that many of the military's helicopters were being used in an offensive against militants in the Swat valley, which needs maintenance before being sent to Waziristan. (ANI)

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