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Pakistan resisting US incursions ?

Looks like finally the United States has given up on Pakistani efforts to defeat the stronghold of the Taleban inside Pakistani territory, and is taking a more active interest in dealing with this matter by itself. The US has started operations inside the wilder non-governed regions of Pakistan, where fighters from Afghanistan would get shelter and help, and then go back inside Afghanistan and attack the forces over there. Initially this was only in the form of missile attacks, where a Predator drone (armed with missiles) would be hovering the region (equipped with video cameras), and when they would get information, they would attack villages and houses (in the process, many times killing their targets as well as women and children); but now this seems to have taken a more forceful and direct nature, with actual troops landing and doing the attacking.
This new and more direct change of operations has apparently come after many months and after a sustained period of pressure from the US military and intelligence services that have lost trust in the willingness and ability of Pakistan to prevent its territory from being used as a support base. There are a large number of media reports to the effect that President Bush has finally given approval for more direct US attacks against such militants and their support bases, even if they are in Pakistani territory. Such a move is the only way that the US can see to staunch the flow of attacks on their own troops in Afghanistan.


A lot of this is also due to wrong US policies in the past. The US treated Afghanistan as only a military campaign, with the amount of effort required to reconstruct the country and ‘win the hearts and minds’ of the populations slackening soon after the Taleban were routed; with the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan slipped even further in priority for the US. This was the period that saw a lack of effective governance in many of the provinces of Afghanistan, accompanied by a rule of the warlords with all the corruption and other ills that such a rule bring on. The Taleban and Al-Qaeda have used this time to regroup and become an effective force again, threatening the stability of Afghanistan again, and the US would be paranoid about the terrorist supporters coming back into influence again. So, now the US is taking on the troubled areas in Pakistan directly:

Pakistan’s military chief said Wednesday that no foreign forces will be allowed to conduct operations inside Pakistan in light of last week’s “reckless” U.S. military ground operation. Pakistan’s “territorial integrity … will be defended at all cost and no external force is allowed to conduct operations … inside Pakistan,” according to a military statement attributed to Chief of Army Staff Gen. Parvez Kayani, who succeeded Pervez Musharraf after he stepped down as Pakistan’s army chief last year.
A ground incursion last week by U.S. forces into Pakistan strained relations between the two countries. Pakistan summoned the U.S. ambassador in Islamabad to complain about the incident, which it said killed 15 civilians. The Pentagon has not confirmed the raid, but a senior U.S. official who declined to be named told CNN’s Barbara Starr that U.S. helicopters dropped troops into the village of Angoor Adda in South Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan. The official said there was no evidence of any civilian deaths.

Such operations however cause huge problems in Pakistan. After all, no country would like to see foreign troops invading your country, and killing people (including innocents). And specially in the border areas, there is huge sympathy for the Taleban. As a result, there is less sympathy and support for the actions of the United States, and of any Government that is seen to be supporting them. Actions by the Pakistani army also meets disapproval, and given the increase in Islamic tendencies among the rank and file of the Pakistani army, there is a buildup of resentment against such military actions.

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