Militants' possession of Israeli arms raises questions
ISLAMABAD Use of Israeli-made light arms by militants against security forces in Waziristan has raised several questions amongst many recently.
TheNation has learnt on good authority that militants are using Israeli-made light arms including Uzi gun and Rapid-fire pistol against security forces in North Waziristan as the operation Rah-I-Rast reached its final stage.
In addition to Israel-made sophisticated arms, militants are making use of the latest version of US-made M-16 carbine with laser designator and binoculars, Bulgarian and Czechoslovakia made Kalakov and M-4 carbine with a grenade launcher and laser designator, which is a unique weapon with the US marines.
Availability of sophisticated Israeli weapons within the militants ranks and their use against security forces has raised several eyebrows in Islamabad.
But not only the militants are in possession of such type of deadly weapons but they are easily accessible by the common people of Pakistan, especially in Punjab.
As a matter of fact, the war on terrorism in Afghanistan has brought state-of-the-art foreign-made lethal weapons to Pakistans arms markets in the tribal areas and other parts of the country.
At a time when militants equipped with US, European, and Israeli-made deadly weapons are offering resistance to the Army, these sophisticated weapons are attracting buyers from across the country, particularly Punjab. Apart from foreign-made weapons, Wah Factory manufactured MP-5 rifle pieces are also available in Dara market.
A source in the Wazir Dand arms market, Khyber Agency claimed a slain Afghan commander, belonging to eastern Nangarhar, sold 300 pieces of M-16 rifles in Landi Kotal a year and half earlier. These rifles are in the possession of militants, especially the Uzbeks and Tajiks, are being used intensively against security forces.
The Obama administration is stepping up pressure on Pakistan to expand and reorient its fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, warning that failing to do so would undercut the new strategy of troops increase in Afghanistan that President Obama is preparing to approve, said an influential US newspaper The New York Times, quoting American official sources.
Since the Obama administration has decided to send more US troops into Afghanistan, Pakistan has made it clear that addition of more troops will inevitably push more Taliban fighters across the border into Pakistani territory, especially Waziristan.
The pushing of militants from Afghanistan to Pakistan means heavy transportation of lethal weapons (both light and heavy) into Pakistani areas bordering Afghanistan, causing more resistance to security forces, defence analysts fear.
According to official sources, huge transportation of weapons from Afghanistan into Pakistan has been noted at a time when US-led NATO forces vacated a half-dozen remote outposts a month earlier.
Sources said the issue was raised during a meeting of top government authorities with US Secretary of State Mrs. Clinton when she visited Islamabad recently.
Mrs. Clinton argued that NATO had actually increased troop levels along that border but had decided to consolidate about a half-dozen remote outposts into fewer, larger installations, because they were easier to defend.
So great was the Pakistani concern over the outpost closures that Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, made a special point during an unannounced trip to Islamabad after Mrs. Clintons visit to reassure Pakistani officials of the American resolve.