In an interview on Pakistani television today, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen declared that Pakistan’s Army would soon launch an invasion of North Waziristan to crack down on the Haqqani network, a long-time US rival.
It seems to have come as something of a surprise to the Pakistani Army, whose spokesman also gave an interview today insisting that they were in no position to invade North Waziristan.
“We can’t start fighting in North Waziristan while we are in every agency in the tribal area fighting the Taliban there.” Though Pakistan has already committed 200,000 soldiers to assorted wars in the tribal areas, largely at US behest, Obama Administration officials have expressed disquiet at the nation’s “reluctance” to launch even more conflicts.
Disagreements about who the most pressing enemies are and growing distrust about the motives of one another are becoming the key traits of the US and Pakistani governments’ relationship in this time of endless war.
Even the news that Pakistan is delaying American visas is greeted with serious mistrust, as State Department officials warn it will harm the war. Pakistan insists the delays are merely the result of enormous numbers of Americans pouring into the nation in recent months.
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