Maj. Gen. Tariq Khan said the Pakistani Army was leading the assault in North Waziristan against Al Qaeda and Afghan Taliban. "This will finish in a couple of months," says General Khan.
The Pakistani Army has launched a military operation to clear insurgents from North Waziristan — long a haven for Al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban — and hopes to wind up offensive actions in all its tribal areas by June, according to the Pakistani general who's in charge of the special paramilitary force for the area.
Maj. Gen. Tariq Khan said the main Pakistani Army was leading the assault in North Waziristan with a series of small operations, while his Frontier Corps was leading a major offensive in Orakzai, to which insurgents have fled after operations in other tribal areas.
Pakistan's Army hadn't previously announced a North Waziristan operation.
In an interview with McClatchy, Khan said that five of the seven "agencies" of what formerly was called the Federally Administered Tribal Area were now under government control, with only Orakzai and North Waziristan remaining to be "cleared." The military then plans to send ground troops to sweep through all of the tribal area.
"This will finish in a couple of months. We'll take care of all of them. We're just waiting for the major operations — like Orakzai and North Waziristan — to finish, to spare us the troops to start changing our methodology. Instead of kinetic, concentrated operations, we start search and cordon and sting operations, for which actually you need more boots on the ground," said Khan, a swashbuckling general who has a reputation for taking extremists head-on.
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