India has been closely following the reluctant Pakistan Army’s operations against the Taliban after the army was was finally forced into the hills of Buner and Swat by international pressure after months of dragging its feet.
In the initial days, the Indian security officials refused to render any assessment on the sincerity of the Pakistan Army’s operations against the Taliban. But over the past few days, senior security officers at Raisina Hill and elsewhere have dismissed the operations as a ‘fraud on the world’. “The only thing they have done is create refugees. They’re also claiming the killing of hundreds of militants in a matter of a couple of weeks. I’m sure large numbers of people have been killed there, but that doesn’t necessarily make them Taliban militants. Killing militants is not such an easy task.” said one brasshat, who also happens to be a COIN (Counter Insurgency) expert.
The lack of independent verification of action against the Taliban and not simply artillery barrages and assaults by fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships (which many think result only in the destruction of communities and the creation of refugees) instead of COIN operations has left Indian observers unimpressed. “The operations began just around the time when Zardari had to visit the US. So their amateur exercise in currying favor with the US to ensure the release of aid is quite obvious. At the same time, it is also important to note their lack of sincerity in conducting these operations,” said another senior officer, adding, “They’re desperate for aid from the US but are squandering their own resources on building more nuclear weapons. Their priorities have nothing to do with the objectives of tackling terrorism. They’re making a fool of the US”
Delhi’s cynical view of the Pakistan Army’s operations is the result of its experience with their ‘perfidious double-games’ says the officer. “Just wait and see how quickly they declare the Taliban defeated and end the operations once the aid is through and in. As it is, besides token actual assaults on the Taliban, they’re just hurting their own civilian population,” he says.