There’s been a lot of public Taliban activity in Pakistan over the last little while.
The Taliban is slowly trying to make its way toward Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital. The Pakistani armed forces have been verbally scolded by both American officials and Pakistani politicians over their lack of action and unwillingness to shift troops from the India-Pakistan border to help concentrate on combating the Taliban threat.
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani defended his military’s actions on Friday, saying that they are committed to fighting and halting the Taliban insurgency. American and Pakistani officials however have expressed concern over the army’s lack of performance, insinuating that they merely stood by as hundreds of Taliban insurgents made their way into the Buner district, just 70 miles from Islamabad.
Also on Friday, after meeting with government officials, Taliban executives said they would withdraw from Buner. However, residents of the district say that this promise has not been honored and that few insurgents have vacated the region.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited the distressed country for two days earlier this week. “The situation there is definitely worse than it was two weeks ago” he said. “They need aggressive leadership that takes action.”
General Kayani attended an operational meeting in Rawalpindi Friday in an effort to prove his military is committed to dislodging the Taliban insurgency. “The army is determined to root out the menace of terrorism from society” the military said, according to the New York Times, in a statement afterward. “It will not allow the militants to dictate terms to the government or impose their way of life on the civil society of Pakistan.”
The general said the military is currently preparing to carry out a mission in Swat Valley, where Taliban insurgents have refused to disarm, disengage and evacuate, in violation of a February peace treaty.
Kayani said the army’s lack of action over the past while was an “operational pause” an effort to let the peace treaty work out the differences on its own.
Admiral Mullen has met with the general many times and has discussed with him many different ways to approach a solution to the insurgency conflict.
The admiral said he was quite impressed after watching the army in training sessions.
Hopefully the operation heading into Swat Valley takes place quick and is as effective as many are hoping.