US skeptical about winning military struggle in “porous” Pak border areas: WikiLeaks

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

WASHINGTON - US diplomats are skeptical about eventually winning the military struggle in Pakistan’s badlands, saying that peace talks go nowhere and murderous militants control key towns, a diplomatic cable unveiled by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks has revealed.

The leaked cable from the consulate in Peshawar also said that eight years of airstrikes, military patrols and added checkpoints have had little effect on securing Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan used by Islamic militants to attack US troops battling the Taliban, the Washington Times reported.

“The borders are porous,” the cable stated, adding. “Taliban and militant extremists are constantly crossing the border with Afghanistan and engaging in terrorist and smuggling activity. The rugged terrain makes it difficult to patrol and control the border.”

Military analysts are of the view that as long as militants can move freely from Pakistan into Afghanistan and back, it will be difficult to defeat the anti-Kabul insurgency.

The cable informed Washington and US commanders about the cast of characters controlling Waziristan, a key tribal border region, as a prelude to an upcoming Pakistani military offensive, its fourth since the summer of 2009.

The leaked cable also helps explain why the military offensives have proved inconclusive, revealing the stranglehold that militant militias exert on towns and tribes.

Chief among them is the late Mehsud’s group, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, which is dedicated to overthrowing the Pakistani government.

Pakistan’s “divide and rule” strategy calls for isolating the TTP, but tribal leaders were “too cowed” to move against a man the cable called “the most notorious militant in Pakistan.”

His successor and cousin, Hakimullah Mehsud, is just as ruthless, masterminding the 2008 suicide bombing of a jirga (peace conference) that “killed over 50 tribal maliks [leaders] and broke virtually all organized resistance to TTP control,” the cable added. (ANI)

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