Kayani warns US against anti-Pakistan offensive

October 19th, 2011 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, Oct 19 (IANS) Amid escalating tensions, Pakistan’s all powerful army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has warned the US not to launch any military offensive into his country’s tribal region.

Asking the US to “think 10 times” before moving into North Waziristan region from Afghanistan, Kayani reminded the Americans that Pakistan was a nuclear power and should not be compared with Iraq or Afghanistan.

The army chief, who has been smarting since US commandos intruded into Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani town in May, was addressing members of parliament’s defence committee Tuesday.

But Kayani did not specify what Pakistan would do if American troops, now massed on the Afghan side of the border, did move into North Waziristan hunting for the militant Haqqani network.

US officials are linking the Haqqani group with Pakistani’s intelligence agencies and say it has stepped up attacks on American interests in Afghanistan, with some tacit Pakistani backing.

Xinhua quoted a participant as saying that the general rejected US allegations that Pakistan was using the Taliban-linked Haqqani network for waging a proxy war in Afghanistan.

Pakistan, Kayani insisted, was a part of a solution to the Afghan tangle, not the problem.

The US is livid with the Pakistani establishment for not taking strong action against the Haqqani group.

The Americans say Pakistan, which remains obsessed with India’s growing clout in Afghanistan, is trying to keep alive the Haqqani network so that it plays a role in any Kabul dispensation once the US army pulls out.

Kayani said he had told the Americans that Pakistan would go for military action in the region if the situation demanded but not under any pressure.

“If somebody convinces me that military action in North Waziristan will resolve all problems, I am ready to go for it tomorrow,” he said.

Kayani also rejected the growing perception that Pakistan wanted to control Afghanistan and said it was evident from history that nobody had ever succeeded in doing so.

“When the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union failed to do so, how can it be expected of Pakistan? We do not have a magic wand to succeed in doing what others failed,” he added.

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