Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan's defense minister says any new military operations in the Taliban's stronghold in the northwestern part of the country will be done on its own timetable -- and that time is not now.December 7, Long War Journal:
"We can 'do more' only whenever we can. We have to see to our interests first," Defense Minister Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtar said Thursday in Lahore.
He was responding to reporters' questions about whether Pakistan would start immediate military operation against militants in North Waziristan.
The questions may have been prompted by comments made by U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, who visited Pakistan Wednesday. Mullen urged Pakistani officials to focus less on the perceived strategic threat from India, and more on the threat of militants within its borders.
"Whatever Admiral Mullen demands, we will only do when it is required by Pakistan or its armed forces. If we feel we have to go in North Waziristan with more force, we will go. If we don't, we wouldn't," the defense minister said.
Pakistani military commanders continue to insist there is no need for a military operation in North Waziristan as the military is already battling the Taliban and al Qaeda there. The latest claim comes from the commander of the Peshawar Corps. From SAMAA:Core Commander Peshawar Lieutenant General Asif Yasin, on Monday, ruled out rumors regarding a fresh offensive against terrorists, saying that an operation in North Waziristan is underway.More on that fictional stealth offensive in North Waziristan here.
While speaking with journalists, he said that the army is targeting terrorists already. He further said that they have made a strategy to deal with the situation in case of the US army's departure from Afghanistan.