Operation only when time is ripe, Kayani tells Petraeus


ISLAMABAD: The top US military commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, on Wednesday called on COAS Gen Ashfaq Kayani to discuss the new but ‘targeted’ military operation against the Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in North Waziristan.
“The US military commander asked for the earliest possible operation in North Waziristan with strikes by Pakistani air and ground forces as proposed by Islamabad in the recently concluded Pakistan-US strategic dialogue in the US,” a senior official privy to the talks said. He said General Kayani once again told the visiting US commander that Pakistan was not against operation in North Waziristan but would launch an offensive only when circumstances dictated.
“Kayani also apprised Petraeus about Pakistani troops engagement in the flood-relief efforts and military offensives in other Tribal Areas, saying the country’s security forces are overstretched,” the official said.
The other important issue that was discussed in detail was the US-backed peace talks between the Karzai government and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
“General Kayani told the American military commander that Pakistan was willing to play its role for the success of the reconciliation process in Afghanistan but the US authorities shall also take Islamabad in confidence in this regard,” he said.
The official said the two military commanders also discussed bilateral defense cooperation and the recently announced security assistance package worth $2 billion by Washington for Islamabad.