Experts question Pak military's success in South Waziristan

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New York, Nov.18 (ANI): The Pakistan Army has claimed massive success in the offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan, establishing control over Sararogha, the town which the militants referred to as their capital, but both US and Pakistani experts have questioned the army's efforts and fear the extremists would bounce back.

Many are surprised by the unexpectedly light resistance that the troops have faced in the region, which is considered as the Taliban's stronghold.

US officials believe that the insurgents have shifted to the rough terrains along the Afghan border, while the military penetrates deeper into the region.

"That's what bothers me. Where are they?" questioned an American intelligence officer.

"They are fleeing in all directions. The Uzbeks are fleeing to Afghanistan and the north, and the Mehsuds are fleeing to any possible place they can think of," The New York Times quoted a Pakistani security official, on conditions of anonymity, as saying.

Success in this region could have a direct bearing on how many more American troops are ultimately sent to Afghanistan, and how long they must stay, the newspaper said.

For the Pakistan Army, the bigger question is for how long it would be able to hold on to the region.

Experts see the militants coming back once again as the security forces lack have failed to win people's confidence in the region.

"Are they really winning the people - this is the big question. They have weakened the Taliban tactically, but have they really won the area if the people are not with them?" said Talat Masood, a military analyst.

Citing American abandonment after the Soviet Union left Afghanistan in 1989, a Pakistani intelligence official pointed that the terrorist would definitely return to wreack havoc once the military retreats.

"If they leave in haste, like they left in the past, we will be back to the bad old days.Our jihadis would head back to Afghanistan, reopen training camps, and it will be business as usual," he said. (ANI)

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