Peshawar (Pakistan), Mar 4 (ANI): The US has started launching unmanned aircraft attacks on Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in order to nuetralise a Taliban spring offensive against US forces in Afghanistan.
Sarfaraz Khan, a University of Peshawar professor, supported the American aggressiveness saying, "In order to stop unifying Taliban groups from launching massive attacks against NATO and in particular newly arriving U.S. troops in Afghanistan, such attacks have become indispensable on Americans' part."
On February 1, two missiles allegedly from the US struck the South Waziristan tribal zone, which is dominated by Taliban rebels, injuring scores of terrorists and killing up to a dozen local people, a senior Pakistani official told The Washington Times.
Targeting Mehsud's strongholds represents a shift in US policies after Barack Obama took office.
Talking about the issue at a press conference last week, CIA Director Leon E. Panetta said, "Obviously, you know, we have identified those militants and terrorists that constitute a threat not only to U.S. forces, Americans and people in Afghanistan, but also those that constitute threats to the Pakistanis, and we are working with the Pakistanis to identify those who represent common threats to both of us in our efforts,"
Both Pakistani and U.S. officials have accused Mehsud of leading the December 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
However, Mehsood maintains his innocence.
Mehsud is the head of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella organization of the Pakistani Taliban, as well as the undeclared leader of the recent alliance known as the Shura Ittehadul Mujahedeen (SIM). (ANI)