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Pakistan Conducts "Mere Mock Operations" in South Waziristan

3:20 PM, Jul 24, 2009 • By BILL ROGGIO
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This should come as no surprise to those who closely watch Pakistan's military operations in the tribal areas. According to a senior politician, the government is conducting a faux offensive against Baitullah Mehsud, the Taliban leader behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and scores of suicide bombings across the country that have killed thousands.

"These are mere mock operations in order to convince NATO as well as the United States of America that Pakistan is very serious against the extremists," says Lateef Afridi, a central committee member of the Awami National Party, a coalition partner of the government. [Note, the Awami National Party runs the government of the Northwest Frontier Province in the heart of the Taliban insurgency.]

Instead, he says, Pakistani leaders are protecting the militants as proxy fighters in Afghanistan and a lure for Americans to "give them dollars."

The military announced a combined operation consisting of air and ground elements would dislodge Baitullah's forces from South Waziristan in mid-June. This offense has yet to materialize and instead the Pakistanis have conducted punitive strikes with air power.

The military purposefully has excluded Taliban groups in North and South Waziristan who are considered "good Taliban" because they focus their operations in Afghanistan and don't advocate toppling the government. But even after these "good Taliban" reneged on their peace agreements and began attacking security forces in the region, the military insisted the peace agreements are intact.