‘Pakistan will decide time for NWA offensive’


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan itself has to decide the time of launching an offensive in North Waziristan or any place else, General James N Mattis, commander of the United States Central Command, said on Saturday.
During a meeting with Pakistani military leadership, General Mattis said Pakistan was well aware of the US concerns over secret Al Qaeda hideouts inside Pakistan. Defence sources told Online that the US general met Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee Gen Khalid Shameem Wyne and Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Kayani.
During the course of these meetings, matters related to cooperation between the US and Pakistani intelligence agencies and army for the elimination of terrorism were discussed at length. Both sides agreed to enhancing cooperation and intelligence sharing for fighting the threat of terrorism which is inevitable for peace and stability in the region. Sources said the US general left the decision of the timeframe for the offensive in NWA up to the Pakistani military leadership and conceded that the Pakistan Army was in a better position to know the ground realities and the geographical importance of
the area.
They said the military leadership reiterated its concern and opposition against the drone strikes and stressed that the US should provide drone technology to Pakistan so that the Pakistani forces could target
terrorist hideouts.
The impact of reconciliation process with Taliban in Afghanistan was also discussed and Pakistan stressed that all Afghan tribes should be included in the reconciliation process and its ownership should lie with the Afghan government.
General Mattis assured the military leadership that all developments in Afghanistan would be discussed with Pakistan and admitted that without Pakistan’s cooperation the war against terrorism could not be won.
He said the US was aware of the Pakistani military’s needs, adding that it would enhance the capabilities of the Pakistani armed forces and intelligence.