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'Pak army needs Taliban assets to counter India'

Source: ANI
October 19, 2009 16:55 IST
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The Pakistan military believes that American and British military will withdraw from Afghanistan -- and when they do, they will need old Taliban friends such as Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin to minimise the influence of India in its Afghan backyard.

Several key Taliban figures are protected by the Pakistan army, which still regards them as 'strategic assets'.

These 'assets' continue to organise attacks on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's forces from Waziristan, unmolested or unchallenged by the Pakistan army, reports The Telegraph.
It is for this reason that Islamabad has turned a blind eye to the presence of Mullah Omar's Quetta Shura, the ruling council that coordinates the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan. from a hide-out close to the Balochistan state capital.

Although Pakistan's military chiefs have been talking about an 'imminent' assault since last June, all the evidence has pointed to deep reluctance to launch a massive ground offensive, which will provoke an overwhelming backlash with suicide bombings and fidayeen commando attacks throughout the country.

It was the Taliban's new leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, who finally forced a decision upon the army, when his militants launched a daring commando raid into the army's headquarters in Rawalpindi.

Just ten fidayeen gunmen shot their way into the garrison headquarter, seized 42 hostages, and killed 14 soldiers and civilians in a 22-hour siege.

The real humiliation for the army is that most of these raids were shown, shot by shot, on live television news channels. Hakimullah's challenge could not have been more forceful or more public.

Hakimullah's onslaught questioned the military's invincibility, and Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Kiyani, could not let that challenge pass. 

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Source: ANI