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Military Operation in Waziristan

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A number of government officials, including the top man, Mr. Zardari, have stated over last many days that military operation will also be carried out in Waziristan. Following these statements people in Waziristan have started leaving their homes and migrating to other places nearby. It appears that the right lessons have not been learnt from the ongoing Swat operation which is yet to be over even militarily. In case of Swat operation, surprise was achieved against Taliban at the cost of locals being caught unaware and becoming Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in millions. In Waziristan , the locals have started migrating. Taliban, too, must be making good use of this time to either prepare for the expected military operation and fortify their positions or disperse and move away to other areas or maybe a combination of both.

Undertaking military operation in Waziristan on the lines of Swat operation will be unwise on part of the government and the military. It will stretch out the military. With reaction time having been provided to Taliban, results of the military operation are not likely to be as good as of the expected military victory in Swat region. And, last but not the least, we will have millions of more IDPs. IDPs of Swat were not armed as there is no tradition of carrying personal weapons in Swat region. IDPs of Waziristan, are going to be armed as by tradition, every local owns and carries weapons. The unrest in the camps of Swat IDPs is being borne by unarmed IDPs with some sort of forced as well as voluntary patience. It is not going to be the case with armed IDPs of Waziristan. It will be worth considering if the locals of Waziristan are organized into armed groups, called as lashkars, supported by the military and launched against Taliban as has been done at few places. However, it has to be ensured that these lashkars don't start equalling personal scores against locals. The menace of having millions of IDPs is too big to undertake another military operation. The government and the military need to find other ways to deal with Taliban. To kill one dirty fish, one doesn't have to empty the pond. There is need to home onto on the dirty fish only by gathering accurate and real time intelligence which has been a total failure to date.

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posted @ 2:55 PM,

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