‘Pakistan sees need for NWA offensive’


WASHINGTON/PARIS: Top US commander in Afghanistan General David Petraeus said on Tuesday Pakistan recognised the need to take more action against insurgents in tribal regions from which they can attack NATO forces over the border.
“They recognise the need for more operations in North Waziristan,” Petraeus said at a university lecture in Paris in which he gave an update on the NATO alliance’s campaign to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan. Petraeus said Pakistani security forces had “conducted very impressive counter-insurgency operations” but more needed to be done in the tribal belt, where US drones launch deadly attacks on suspected insurgent bases.
Separately, US special representative Richard Holbrooke said the top Al Qaeda leadership is in the Af-Pak border region. “Al Qaeda is in many places, but its leadership is in the border areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Holbrooke said. The US diplomat ruled out any negotiations with Taliban.
“There’s no negotiation going on. There’s nothing that comes close that word. There is no single enemy out there in the way that there was a Ho Chi Minh or Yasser Arafat or a Slobodan Milosevic to negotiate with,” he argued.
“It’s a lot of different people. One group Al Qaeda, there’s no negotiating with, the others – the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban, other groups are split and they’re in contact regularly with Karzai and his people,” he said. “They’ll continue to and I want to stress because everyone knows there’s no simple military solution to this.,” he said.
“If domestic and European opinions were to force a precipitous withdrawal, it would be an international triumph for the Al Qaeda and Taliban.