Pak drags feet on new offensive in tribal belt
Islamabad: Pakistan is buying time in
North Waziristan -- gathering intelligence, building alliances
and insisting any assault into the Taliban and Al-Qaeda
fortress take place at its own time and choosing.
Part of the tribal belt on the Afghan border, North
Waziristan is home to 350,000 people but considered a
stronghold for the most dangerous militants in the world and
It is also a rumoured hiding place of Osama bin Laden.
Commanders are walking a tightrope, balancing US
pressure for action against fears that a major push into the
hornet's nest would make enemies they cannot beat and drag
Pakistan into a new wave of violence.
"The army is already over-stretched after carrying out
offensives in other tribal regions," one Pakistani security
"Security forces got in touch with local tribesmen
in a policy of dialogue and asked them not to harbour any
insurgents, and this policy has worked," he said.
As well as the bin Laden connection, North
Waziristan's mountains are also a refuge for Pakistani
Tehreek-e-Taliban who escaped an offensive in neighbouring
South Waziristan and networks fighting US forces in
A US drone campaign already trained on North
Waziristan has been stepped up since Pakistani-American Faisal
Shahzad was charged in the United States for plotting an
attempted May 1 bomb attack on New York. Shahzad told