“Only Pakistan will determine when to launch North Waziristan operation”: Haqqani

January 13th, 2011 - 6:01 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Washington, Jan 13(ANI): Only Pakistan will determine when to launch a military operation against terrorists in North Waziristan, a haven for Taliban and al-Qaeda along the Afghan border, Ambassador Husain Haqqani has said.

“Only Pakistan will determine what to do and when to do it,” Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television

Putting US “boots on the ground is not going to happen, and it’s not needed,” he added.

Haqqani vowed that Pakistan would mount military assaults against terrorists in the North Waziristan region, and said: “It’s only a matter of how, when and in what manner do we conduct operations there against the extremists and terrorists.”

Pakistan had amassed 38,000 military and paramilitary forces in the tribal region in the past few months, the envoy pointed out.

Pakistan’s military action in North Waziristan would address criticism from some US officials, who have questioned whether Pakistan has done enough to drive the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda from the region.

Haqqani underscored that a decision to clear out the terrorist refuge in North Waziristan did not mean that his government was caving in to US pressure or responding to criticisms in a White House review that faulted Pakistan for making the Afghanistan war more difficult.

While “it’s very legitimate to say we’re not meeting many benchmarks,” Haqqani conceded, “Pakistan is not being given credit for what we’ve done in the last two years” of democratic rule.

When asked about the covert CIA program to use unmanned drones to target militants on Pakistani soil, Haqqani said his country has been “a partner” to the US in cases where “the United States is using technical means at its disposal to get rid of terrorists who cannot be eliminated in other ways.”

“But we want our sovereignty to be respected and we certainly will stand up against civilian casualties,” he added. (ANI)

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