Closing in on Baitullah

Closing in on Baitullah

The Pakistan Army is closing in on South Waziristan, the stalking ground of Tehrik-e-Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.

In recent days, the military has been using airstrikes, artillery and blockades to attack suspected hide-outs and training camps in the tribal agency in an effort to weaken Mehsud’s position before launching a full-scale attack. The authorities also turned a blind eye to tribal infighting, in the hope that Mehsud’s rival Qari Zainuddin would compromise Mehsud’s strength and position, thereby facilitating a military attack.

Meanwhile, suspected US missile strikes have been targeting militant commanders stationed in the tribal agency.

What do you think the best strategy for toppling the Taliban leadership in South Waziristan is? Should the army launch a full-scale offensive, backed by US strikes? Or should the military encircle Taliban hide-outs in an effort to capture Mehsud and other militant commanders? How can the army prevent Taliban leaders from escaping into Afghanistan or regrouping in an adjacent tribal area? Can this final showdown between the army and militants succeed?


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127 Responses to “Closing in on Baitullah”

  1. Pakistani says:

    Someone rightly pointed out, “if the hero of the movie dies than the movie ends or can’t carry on”

  2. Jamor says:

    Baitullah is running this war with drug money.Stop his source of funds and manpower and he will be defeated.There are some people in these columns who are suggesting nuclear attacks.Do they want to turn the land into no mans land and kill innocent civilians.You cant eat an egg after cracking it with a sledge hammer. Imitating the Sri Lankan method is not an option.The Sri lankans did not care for the innocent Tamil civilians.If there were Singhalese civilians in Tiger territory they would not have resorted to indiscriminate bombing.There should be more ground forces as it will reduce collateral damage. Casualties among the army will be higher, but the IDP will have a home to return to instead of ruins

  3. Tarek says:

    @ Atman

    “At what point will the Pakistani Army proclaim victory against the Taliban. Pakistan Army has to first define its objectives clearly and then set out to achieve them.”

    The Pakistan Army is one of the most professional in the world, I’m quite sure they’ve laid out exactly what needs to be done.

    They haven’t told anyone else, why would they? If the Army wants to win, it needs to plan, keep it’s mouth shut and eliminate these ememies of the state.

    That being said, Baitullah should be captured alive and punished on the National Television in front of the nation and world.

  4. Nasir says:

    First bring the Lal Masjid cleric to justice then the assassins in Swat…..then make more war fronts.

    Or make more war fronts & make a fool out of everybody (in fact yourself)

  5. NASAH says:

    Baitullah’s days are numbered.

  6. Mustafa says:

    The latest news as reported is:

    “It said that parents of boys, who had been forcibly taken away by the Baitullah Mehsud group for suicide training in South Waziristan, had demanded release of their sons. Baitullah is reported to have refused to free them.”

    A question to all Pakistanis who remain to be nuteral or have sympathy with Baitullah Mehsud group. What can be more merciless action than forcing young boys to become suicide bomber. Do you trust these evils enemies of humanity to teach the religion of Islam to you and become custodian of the religion of Islam and sharia in Pakistan.

    They will never know the painful death in suicide bombing unless, when captured, taken to a remote area and made suicide bomber

  7. Mustafa says:

    Atman, I do not think you or I are in any postion to tell Pakistan Army what to do. If they were not qualified to defend Pakistan from its enemies, they will not be in the Army and possibly you will be in the Army.

  8. Atman says:

    At what point will the Pakistani Army proclaim victory against the Taliban. Pakistan Army has to first define its objectives clearly and then set out to achieve them.

  9. shabnam Khan says:

    What we sow is what we reap. Lets stop creating Islamic fundamentalists in our medressah’s.

  10. Syed Ali Mehdi says:

    I have read one of the comment saying saying that we (assumingly pathans) are sick of the punjabi dominance and arrogance and to give freedom. To the person who made this comment I would ask whether the taliban showed any leniency towards the people of NWFP. I belive NWFP have never had such a chaos in the last so many decades. Where does the punjabi dominance and arroagnce come in all this warfare. The taliban have done almost everything to terrify each citizen of Pakistan. Is the commentator ready to go to taliban and live with them.
    We should be very thankful to our army for taking the right action although they should have taken this step a lot earlier but better late than never. I sincerely hope that Swat regains it lost status of as a hot spot for the tourists and once again the local swatis can thrive and live peacefully with their children can send their children to school (specially girls) without having any fears for their safety. I know that there is strong power in dua have seen it many times let us all pray together for the unity, continued prosperity and all the good things for our beloved country Pakistan and the Pakistani People.
    I would conclude by saying that I am not a punjabi but a true bhayya in all respects.

  11. Syed says:

    The Pak Army also has a big chunk of soldiers who have sympathy with Taliban ! This attitude is not rife in Pak Army but also the common tribal man of Pakistan. For example, when it comes to Swat and Waziristan, these extremists are Taliban but when it comes to Kurram Agency , it becomes sectarian issue. However, the truth is that these are the same Taliban and terrorists that in connivance with the locals, wreak havoc and try to impose their own version of Islam on the followers of another sect. How do the unbiased people of Pakistan explain this?

  12. Sarvjit Singh says:

    Terrorists are killer machines. One should be equally saddened when they kill people belongings to a different country or a different religion. Terrorism can not have two definitions of bad or good terrorist. It is sad to read that few friends states that they should be punished because they are killing Muslims. These terrorists have not killed just Muslims, they have killed peoples belonging to different ethnic communities in the troubled areas too.

    The terrorism can not be defeated, if it can not be condemned in true sense globally. Terrorism can not be strategic asset of any country or religion. The billions of dollars being wasted on creating and diminishing terrorism could have been utilized for the welfare of humankind. It is the need of hour that civil society comes together and protest such moves designed to deprive the basic rights of the life. The religion is personal affairs and should not intervene in the issues affecting mankind. One should not also try to prove that his or her religion is superior to others.

    Live and let live.

  13. Tariq Mian, Canada says:

    To NASAH,
    Let the courts in Pakistan take care of Hafiz Saeed, as he falls in the jurisdiction of LHC.
    I think, since, the matter is ‘sub-judice’ and therefore let’s refrain from the demand.
    As far as INDO-PAK frienship is concerned, both sides need be careful while making negative statements towards each other at least at the leadership level.
    Are you with me NASAH?

  14. NASAH says:

    Finally let me add this on the subject of “closing in on Baitullah”.

    To be credible — Pakistan cannot be ‘closing in’ on one terrorist Baitullah — while ‘letting out’ another equally murderous terrorist whose mission in life is a war between India and Pakistan.

    There is not a chance of re-starting the ‘composite dialogue’ with the Indians — unless that notorious Hafiz Saeed is ‘put in back’ where he belongs — even as a government ‘house guest’.

    Hafiz Saeed is not an “strategic asset” – Hafiz Saeed is a strategic DISASTER.

  15. Khalid Shah says:

    Quite Frankly, I do not understand who is right and who is wrong, But I feel these Taliban’s get money from foriegn sourcesfor destabilizing Pakistan. Pakistan has full fledge Army and backed with nuclear energy & World can not see us that stronger. I must say, Go Pak Army & Crush them. Pakistan Zindabad.

  16. Keti Zilgish says:

    What majority of the commentators to this article seem to have forgotten is that the ‘taleban’ are not confined to Waziristan, Swat or even, say, Pukhtoonistan (Fata+NWFP+most of Balochistan). The ‘taleban’ are simply those people who frequent follow dogma’s blindly. “Now that you see the light, Stand up for your right, Don’t give up the fight.” Dr Samuel Johnson: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”. “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” Scott Crow: “dream the future; know your history; organize your people; fight to win”. “History is not so much a spectacle of significant events and dates as it is a witness to an evolution of consciousness. And the outrageous misadventures of history give further evidence to conflicts between established institutions and the inexorable changes that have occurred in human…..”. Jello Biafra: “Don’t just criticize authority. Don’t forget to criticize me.”

  17. Tariq Mian, Canada says:

    Pak Army is professionally capable of handling and dealing with all problematic situations.
    True, it is taking longer than anticipated, because it is not a conventional warfare , instead, the army is up against the ‘guerrilla type warriors’, who are being continuously supplied with the most modern weaponry by the real enemy.
    That is why, it is in the best interest of the nation that the mastermind commanders be apprehended and subjected to a fact-finding interrogation only and only by the sincere and reliable Pakistani-officials.
    Pakistan at this very moment needs to reach a conclusive evidence of finding out the real enemy.
    Every body only knows that the Taliban alone are a threat, therefore, the professionally equipped officials should strive harder to pinpoint the real agenda of the yet-hidden enemy behind the scene.

    “Without a diagnosis, it is impossible to go ahead with a treatment.”

  18. sAz says:

    In my humble opinion, the government should dealt with these miscreants with its complete will and power. Also, there is no need to bring another criminal to fight with a criminal. Bringing and protecting people like Zainuddin is a failed tactic, and we’ve seen it in the past that when these people were given open hand they slip out of the hand of the law.
    I’m sure that Pak Army is capable of dealing with these street thugs by itself, as their barbaric acts were only to put fear into the heart of the people in order to rule them. But Pakistan security forces also need to clean their ranks and point out their sympathizers, so that these thugs can be wiped out.
    To readers who are defending them by giving different reasons, well you CAN NOT be wrong for a wrong. Otherwise we do not have rule of the law. If you think that you need to change the law then send those people to assemblies and parliament who can do it.

  19. Rehman Shah Mahmood Malik says:

    “ELIMINATE” the cancer!

  20. Paki Baloch says:

    Go Pak Army..our prayers r with u..dont catch Baitullah alive, we want him dead..he is the killer of our many many Muslims brother and sister..put three bullets from my side..plz its my humble resquest..we r waiting for good news..

    ALLAH Madad

  21. Ameed Shah says:

    Well, this is going to be one long road for whole of Pakistan.

    Firstly, this isn’t a war that can only be won by stick and guns and drones, rather this is more of an ideological war. The main question is how does one change the mind set of a young guy over night (talibans in this case). After all, Talibans main claim is that stone age religious practices should be brought back and forget the humanity part of Islam. Islam the most tolerant religions is being challenged as rigid and intolerant religion.

    And here is the whole issue, you cannot change the mentality over night, this takes time and this is what is commonly referred to brainwashing.

    To win this war, it is obvious that Pakistan needs to train a large amount of religious teachers that can be centrally controlled and dispatched to each individual madressah. Each of these teachers has to be taught tolerance and the greatness of the religion and not the supporting of suicide attacks and killing and mugging of people. This also requires a tight control and reporting system set-up which ensures that any madressah not following the set guidelines is taken to task. One has to keep in mind that setting up the system, training individuals for the task and taking action is not something that can happen over night. Additionally, it also requires political will.

    Then there is the main question about what to do with our youth? Until and unless Government invests in the job creation and teaching of various trades to provide additional skills to the young of Pakistan, the young generation will keep on taking its frustrations out by going in the wrong directions. Though, this is a fat chance (dedicating extra resources for young), yet, it would be good to see this happening (eventually). If this does happen then media should support such programs to pass the message at levels.

    Of course, quite a few readers are going to get a shock after reading this, but military budget should be cut at least by 30%. I do not believe that around 2 million selected few should eat up the entire national budget and leave over 140 million to starve. This 30% budget should be used for jobs creation, promoting education and providing of health facilities.

    Also, we the Great Pakistani nation keeps on bashing India, America and the drones attack for our own failures. When are we going to clean up our own house? One of my foreign friends once remarked that Pakistan is one country where they do not want to do anything and leave every thing to Allah, and how true it is, as well. We have the standard saying, “Deekho, Allah ko kaaya monzoor ha”.

    Lastly, about Baituallh, Fazlullah, Mullah Omer and rest of the bunch. Do we honestly belive that the agencies doesn’t know where they are?
    Shah, Belgium

  22. M.A. QURESHI says:

    Kulachi suggest nuclear attack on Taliban. This is totally nonsense and barbaric thought similar to the extremist groups of Taliban. I condemn this thought. I think not all the Taliban are involved in such barbaric acts like cutting throats and suecidee bombings. In other areas of Pakistan similar barbaric acts are going on but our media is only focussing on Taliban. We are not receiving and hearing the other side story and their view point. This propaganda is financially backed by America and other relegion motivated and biased groups. We should be of balanced thoughts. Army should take action only against culprits.

  23. Dr M N Baig says:

    One must understand the root cause for the rise of Baitullah Masud and Fazal Ullah. In a counrty of extremes with a lingering feudal mindset, you cannot but wonder why the Taliban have not spread further then they already have. Set your house in order! clean up politics, afford better opportunities for the masses and break down the Feudal system once and for all. The lure of radicals and opportunistic meddeling by other powers will disapear. At the end of the day these are your people, you must take away the reason for their rise. People of Pakistan need to wake up and realise honesty, hard work and sense of purpose is what counts. Indeed in order to crush the Taliban, guns alone will not work. There needs to be a social revolution in Pakistan, the elite must give way to a more inclusive and fairer society. If this does not happen you will end up killing thousands with no real end result. Unless a political solution does not run in tandem, no matter how one despises the Taliban, there will be no end to this. A bit of creative thinking is needed, appeasement and cohersion won’t work, the Swat deal showed that. Cut their roots, both ideologically and militarliy. In my opinion Pakistan’s Taliban problem will come to pass and I hope the meddeling by its neighbours especially India needs to be exposed more. India will never be a friend of Pakistan, there is point in chasing that dream.

  24. zaheer abbas says:

    These taliban helped protect against the ussr onslaught. What we need to get rid off is those drones and bad leaders. taliban will back off, if there are no drone attacks.

  25. Zafar Sohrwardy says:

    Kill them ? Kill whom? Does anybody know who the Taliban are? Do we really think that given the Pahstun culture of revenge, just killing Baitullah will solve the problem.?
    Despite some foreigners, we are mostly talking in a rather cavalier manner of killing Pakistani men, women and children.
    I think a more sensible solution would be to contain them. Lock them out in their tribal areas. This may take years but the only viable solution is for socio-economic development to erase this taliban philosophy for ever. Of course, given the attitude of our governing elite, this perhaps is hoping for too much. on Facebook on Facebook