Pak Army may face massive resistance from Taliban in South Waziristan: Expert

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Islamabad, Oct.18 (ANI): Reports regarding the Taliban offering a stiff resistance to the Pakistan Army started surfacing within hours after the launch of an all out offensive in South Waziristan, and experts have also warned that security forces may have to face tremendous opposition from the extremists.

The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) quoted Rifaat Hussain, a security analyst at the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, as saying that the Army can face resistance from up to 30,000 militiamen and up to 1,000 suicide bombers.

Hussain said the troops would have to counter numerous difficulties in their operation.

"The Army faces three major disadvantages: this is the Mehsud stronghold and their home turf, the Taliban can expect the assistance of the local public, and they have a short supply line from across the border from the Afghan Taliban," he said.

This is not the first time that the Pakistan Army is fighting the Taliban in its stronghold. Troops had marched into South Waziristan in February 2005, but after early gains, it negotiated a peace deal with militants, which fell apart soon after.

A second operation in February 2008 was called off after the extremists surrounded the security forces in Ladha Fort in Makeen, however, Hussain believes that such 'bargains' are not unlikely this time.

"Similar bargain probably won't be in the cards this time, given the considerable political and public support for the operation as well as the increasing brazenness of militants. Military success is crucial, if the country is to put an end to the guerrilla warfare that has begun to engulf its major cities," he said. (ANI)

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