Pak offensive in South Waziristan not going to help US in Afghanistan

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Washington, Oct 19 (ANI): The Pakistan Army's offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan is not going to help US forces in Afghanistan, as none of the three terror groups singled out as the greatest threat to American troops are based in the region.

Pakistan's offensive into South Waziristan is targeting the terrorists who have wreaked havoc in Pakistan during recent weeks and not those attacking American troops in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Army and its intelligence resources have focused their attention on terrorists seen to be a threat to Pakistani and done much less to curb those focusing on India or Afghanistan, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

After 9/11, former President Pervez Musharraf turned over several top Al Qaeda leaders but refrained from cracking down on the Taliban. Now, one element of the Taliban, known as the Tehreek-i-Taliban, has turned against Pakistan.

The greatest threat to US forces in Afghanistan comes from the faction of the Taliban still loyal to supreme leader Mullah Omar, according to General Stanley McChrystal, the top US general in Afghanistan.

Virtually all reports suggest that Omar is located in the Pakistani city of Quetta. In fact, the US is so sure that Omar is there and is so frustrated by Pakistan's unwillingness to do anything about it that it strongly intimated it might expand drone attacks to Quetta.

The second greatest threat to US forces in Afghainstan is the network run by Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son, Sirajuddin. Reports place them in North Waziristan.

The Haqqani Network's goal is "to regain eventually full control of its traditional base in (the three eastern Afghan provinces of) Khost, Paktia, and Paktika."

Third on General McChrystal's list of Pakistan-based threats to troops in Afghanistan is the Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin network led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. It operates in parts of tribal Pakistan much farther north than South Waziristan.

According to General McChrystal, it "aims to negotiate a major role in a future Taliban government."

The South Waziristan offensive is not irrelevant to American strategic interests. "Stability in Pakistan is essential, not just in its own right, but also to enable progress in Afghanistan," McChrystal writes. (ANI)

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