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Will Iraq playbook work in Pakistan?

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While the plan worked in Iraq, some Pakistani analysts warn that it could backfire in Pakistan. In the long run, militias raised to fight against Al Qaeda today could turn against the government tomorrow.

"I think it's a very misguided step. It might work for the time being in Iraq, but it won't work here. You can buy [the militants'] loyalty for some time. But it's not a long-term solution," says Rahimullah Yusufzai, a journalist and political analyst in Peshawar.

In March, Pakistan's military hailed Nazir's militia when it launched an attack against the Uzbek forces of Mehsud, killing as many as 100. Some analysts now expect the Pakistani military to provide cash and weapons to the Nazir's new militia, although the military has not announced any such plans.

The new plan comes as Washington is openly considering direct intervention in Pakistan's tribal belt, considered a staging ground that has allowed militants to launch their deadliest spate of attacks in Pakistan's history.

"[The Federally Administered Tribal Areas – FATA] continues to be of grave concern to us, both in the near term and in the long term," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a Pentagon briefing last Friday. "It's having a significant impact, not just in Afghanistan.... There are concerns now about how much they've turned inwards, literally, inside Pakistan."

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