Pak Army has scored 'straight A' in Waziristan operations: Ex-envoy

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Islamabad, Feb.18 (ANI): Presentations often reveal as much about the thought processes and intellect and the professional competence of the presenter as the choice of words do his communication skills, says a former Pakistan ambassador.

According to Zafar Hilaly, former Pakistan ambassador to the US and France, the Chief of Army Staff, General Asfaq Pervez Kayani, has scored "straight "A's" on all four counts.

In an article for The News, Ambassador Hilaly says that General Kayani's powerpoint presentation on South Waziristan operations was very effective.

"From the briefing we deduced that in contrast to how some other armies are faring across the border, in less difficult terrain and against resistance that was desultory, the army's performance has been excellent," he said.

"For example, in South Waziristan the enemy had a long time to prepare and forge a battle plan. They had a surfeit of weapons and were well stocked with ammunition. Their fortifications were strong, well dug in and with interconnecting tunnels. And yet, such was the tactical surprise the army achieved, that they were routed," he says.

He says that apparently, the enemy had prepared to fight along roads and valleys, in other words, the traditional battlegrounds in mountainous areas, whereas the army moved at night and along sharp ridges.

"Such tactics completely unhinged the enemy," Hilaly adds.

"The impact of the success of these operations on the morale of our troops can be gauged by the fact that the South Waziristan operation that was scheduled to take ten weeks was concluded in five. The soldiers are single-minded, convinced of their cause and supremely confident. The enemy now knows that the army has the measure of them," he said.

"One significant impact of the army's success is the greater support the army is now receiving from local tribesmen as it pursues insurgents who have fled from South Waziristan and are hiding in North Waziristan. Arms caches are being unearthed on the basis of fresh intelligence supplied by locals, and further searches are being conducted," he said.

The challenges that the army faces are many, such as the need to retain public support and for the people to own the solutions being proffered. Success could not be measured in the number of enemies killed, actually those numbers are immaterial, he says. (ANI)

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