Pakistan Army Takes Militant Stronghold

The Pakistani military announced Saturday that its troops have taken Kotkai in South Waziristan, the erstwhile headquarters of the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan or the Taliban Movement of Pakistan. Both Hakimu’llah Mahsud and Qari Husain, leaders of the TTP, hail from the city. Dawn adds that Pakistani military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said:

‘ 21 terrorists have been killed in South Waziristan on Friday and Saturday while three security personnel laid down their lives and another eight sustained injuries. About Kotkai, he said the place was a militant stronghold where most of the houses stood converted into bunkers. The town also has a training camp run by Qari Hussain for suicide bombers. Security forces are in the process of clearing the built-up area of IEDs, mines and booby traps.’

Aljazeera English has video:

Meanwhile, the head of the Pakistan Muslim League, Qa’id-i A`zam (PML-Q) said Saturday that only a US withdrawal can bring peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Muslim League split into several groups, with the most numerous one now being Nawaz Sharif’s branch. But the PMLQ had been popular earlier in the decade, but shrank dramatically in the 2008 parliamentary elections and now really only has a vague coalition in Baluchistan province to support it.

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2 Responses

  1. Everyone knows, not just the head of the Pakistan Muslim League, that the only way to bring peace to South Asia is for the Americans to leave the region. One cannot use bombs to bring peace. It is silly to believe that unthinkable violence against innocents will tame anger and end the fight of locals to protect their homelands against foreign military occupation.

  2. I am not sure what purpose this kind of reporting serves. The Al Jazeera report was surprisingly 2nd rate. It is well known that Hakimullah Mehsud and the rest of the TTP leadership is in the Orakzai Agency, where, incidentally, the Pakistani army has not carried out any incursions. So they took HM's empty house, and that's progress?

    Secondly, PML(Q) was never popular at any time. Back in 2002 Musharraf needed a party to legitimize his rule, so many defected from Nawaz Sharif's PML and formed the Q group. In turn Musharraf assisted them by putting the support of the whole electoral apparatus behind them. I was there during the elections. A friend's father-in-law who was running on a PML Q ticket had bags full of stamped ballots delivered to his home the night before the election. This coupled with the fact that both the PPP and PML leadership were in exile assisted PML Q's victory. In the NWFP they still couldn't do well, and for the first time the religious alliance MMA secured victory in the provincial parliament.

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