Pak floods to delay military operations in FATA, North Waziristan: Gates

September 4th, 2010 - 3:28 pm ICT by ANI  

Kandahar, Sep 4(ANI): U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that the devastating floods in Pakistan have delayed the military action against militants in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and North Waziristan.

The Obama administration has repeatedly urged Pakistan to carry out military operations in the region to crack down on the Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network, which operates on both sides of the country’s border with Afghanistan.

“Unfortunately the flooding in Pakistan is probably going to delay any operations by the Pakistani Army in North Waziristan for some period of time,” The Dawn quoted Gates, as saying.

“But I think the solution here is ISAF, Afghan, Pakistani cooperation to take care of these targets,” he added.

The floods, triggered by torrential rains that started in July, have claimed the lives of at least 1,600 people and affected the lives of over 20 million people.

The Haqqani network is thought to present one of the biggest threats to NATO and US forces in Afghanistan.

Jalaluddin Haqqani, a commander during the 1980s Afghan war against the Soviets, leads the movement.

It also maintains old links with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Osama bin Laden.

Gates was in Afghanistan on Thursday for military and government talks that highlighted tensions and disagreement between the U.S. and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. (ANI)

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