Wiping off militants from North Waziristan 'hard nut to crack': Experts

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Los Angeles, May 24 (ANI): The United States has been pestering Pakistan to launch a military offensive in the terror hot bed North Wazirstan, and Islamabad too has agreed that it would do so at its discretion, however experts believe that destroying the terror cobweb that has engulfed the whole rugged mountainous region would not be an easy task.

Any military action in North Waziristan would require Islamabad to engage a large and reliable informants and operatives network which would give a first hand information of the strategies being followed by the extremists based in the volatile region.

"It's turned into a cobweb there, and breaking it up will be very difficult. It will take a lot of intelligence for the military to be able to penetrate these groups.... And they don't have it. They lost it over the past three years in both North and South Waziristan," The Los Angeles Times quoted Imtiaz Gul, a security analyst, as saying.

Observers also underlined that the repercussions of an offensive in North Waziristan would mostly be felt in the wealthy Punjab province, which has become a safe haven of several offshoots of terror groups based in Waziristan.

Militant groups based in Punjab have emanated from other established terror organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM), Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) to name a few.

Many of these splinter terror groups also have strong links with the Al-Qaeda.

These emerging groups maintain smaller cells across central and southern Punjab, and experts believe that hitting them in North Waziristan could trigger a backlash of terrorist attacks from within the heartland, the newspaper said.

"You are playing with fire if you go after these people in a very big way," said Gul, whose new book "The Most Dangerous Place", explains the intricacies of Pakistan's tribal belt.

According to analysts, militants have drastically changed their strategy in North Waziristan creating a lot of overlap among the groups operating there, for which the security forces have still not found an answer.

"With so much overlap and integration among the groups, and no militant with clear authority over the area, it may be extremely difficult to say, 'We will leave this area alone and only strike here'," said a former Pakistan Army general and security analyst Talat Masood.

"There are elements there that Pakistan would not like to alienate, like the Haqqani network and Bahadur.... But if all the groups combine, they are a formidable force. So it's going to be a hard nut to crack," he underlined. (ANI)

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