ISLAMABAD - The ripples created by the calls of an expected launch of military operation in the North Waziristan Agency do not seem to have settled following fresh reports of launching the offensive despite Tuesday’s ‘drop scene’.
Amidst the government’s reported contemplation for getting a resolution in support of launching NWA operation passed from the National Assembly, the military commanders met on the second and final day of 69th Formation Commanders Conference at the General Headquarters (GHQ).
Chaired by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the two-day moot saw the reported participation of all the nine corps commanders, field commanders, field formations’ commanders at division level and general officers commanding (GOCs).
The military leadership that has linked the launch of NWA offensive to a decision to be taken by political leadership in this regard is said to be following ‘wait-and-see’ policy, and not to hint at jumping into the tough tribal terrain unless nodded by the politicians or the parliament. All the standby arrangements on NWA operation have been completed, which were discussed in Wednesday’s meeting, the officials said.
The Formation Commanders Conference was kept on a low-key considering the present scenario and the related factors involved. In case the politicians decide to go for NWA operation, the military’s strategic plan would seek final endorsement at the Corps Commanders Conference, the military’s highest operational forum, according to the officials.
Earlier on Tuesday, the ruling coalition could not move a resolution in favour of military operation in North Waziristan in the National Assembly because of strong opposition from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). The NA session thus prorogued, owing to the political divide on the issue, is unlikely to be summoned before the Eid falling on October 27. This indicates that parliamentary consensus on the NWA operation is not expected to arrive at during the ongoing month.
In August this year, Pakistan Army had scaled up targeted operations in the NWA while contending that it would decide on launching a regular operation without accepting any foreign pressure. The long contemplated military offensive is likely to see a further delay due to the arrival of cold weather causing tough weather conditions in NWA.
Talking to The Nation, senior PPP leader and MNA Imtiaz Safdar Warraich said that the government was making efforts to develop political consensus on the operation. Asked if it was possible to summon NA session in the ongoing month in the wake of upcoming Eid, he said, “The resolution could be passed after Eid in the next month, quite probably, but that doesn’t matter. Political consensus even outside the parliament is also vital. If consensus is developed, the resolution can follow anytime.”
Warraich said, the PML-N’s role in sabotaging the government’s move to get the resolution on NWA passed from the NA is highly regrettable. “This is extremely shameful. They are totally oblivious to the merciless killings of our brothers and sisters at the hands of terrorists.”
The PML-N legislators had refused supporting the said resolution while demanding ‘guarantees’ from the treasury benches to ensure peace after NWA operation. “Is there any such guarantee? These are just delaying tactics that go the terrorists’ way. The PML-N has a clear leaning towards the banned outfits. No wonder why they opposed our resolution and indirectly sided with militants!” the PPP MNA said.
Military to ‘wait and see’