‘Pakistan should resist US call for North Waziristan operation’


Islamabad : Pakistan’s political and military leadership must rebuff the US demand for an operation against militants in North Waziristan, a Pakistani paper said Saturday, terming it an “American ploy to drag the country into the Afghan war”.

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“For more than a year, America has been quietly urging us to take action in North Waziristan. Now it has started mounting pressure on our political and military leaders for the purpose,” an editorial in the Urdu daily Nawa-i-Waqt said.

It said US Defense Secretary Robert Gates had held North Waziristan to be a “strong sanctuary for Al Qaeda and Taliban militants, who were fuelling the insurgency in Afghanistan” and sought Pakistan’s speedy military intervention in the area. US Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen had also written to Pakistan Army chief, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, urging speedy action in the area.

“In response, Gen Kayani ruled out any operation,” the editorial claimed, calling his stand “correct”.

“Pakistan has already suffered a lot in this so-called ‘War on Terror’ and there is no scope for more. On one hand, America is wrapping up its war in Afghanistan and preparing to exit the country, and on the other, it is trying to spread the conflict into Pakistan,” it said.

“Pakistan is a sovereign nation and not someone’s feudal possession that it can be browbeaten to launch an operation. We should not get into America’s fight which is already affecting Pakistan,” it said.

The editorial also called on the Pakistan government to reject the Canadian demand for a base in the country to maintain the logistic supply for its forces in Afghanistan.

“Canada is seeking a base in Pakistan after the United Arab Emirates asked it to vacate the base it had there,” it said.

Canada has requested Pakistan to let it use its military bases before its scheduled pullout from Afghanistan next year, after UAE shut down Camp Mirage, its secret military base near Dubai, next month.

The step came after Ottawa’s refusal to accommodate the UAE demand for more flights by its airlines into Canada.