News / Asia

    Pakistan Launches 'Decisive' War on Militants

    FILE - Pakistani troops walk on a hilltop post near Ladha, a town in the troubled Pakistani  tribal region of Waziristan along the Afghan border.
    FILE - Pakistani troops walk on a hilltop post near Ladha, a town in the troubled Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan along the Afghan border.
    Ayaz Gul
    Pakistan has launched what it says is a “decisive” military offensive against foreign and local terrorist bases in its North Waziristan tribal territory.
     
    The announcement that a “comprehensive” military operation has been unleashed came just hours after officials declared that a series of pre-dawn air strikes against suspected targets killed more than 100 of what they said were mostly foreign militants in the Waziristan district. 
     
    A Pakistan army spokesman said the government has ordered the troops to eliminate all “terrorists” from the area and deny space to “these enemies of the state anywhere across the country.”
     
    Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said the government has resorted to the use of military power because its attempts to end the problem of militancy through peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban did not succeed.
     
    Time to pay the price

    Instead, he told a local television channel, insurgents have continued their terrorist attacks around the country.
     
    The minister said a “decisive war” has started in North Waziristan.  He added that if there are foreign fighters who have come from other parts of the world and settled there and have violated Pakistani law, the time has come for them to pay the price.  
     
    Officials say those killed in Sunday’s air strikes included planners of last week’s audacious commando-style raid on the country’s largest and busiest Karachi airport, in which about 50 people were killed, including the 10 attackers.  The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility, saying its affiliate Uzbek fighters carried out the attack.
     
    The attack increased pressure on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to abandon a floundering peace process with the militants and launch a full-scale army operation against them.
     
    An opposition member of Pakistan's parliament, Nafeesa Shah, said almost all the political parties supported the government’s peace initiative, but it was not working and instead terrorism increased in the country.
     
    “So, we were waiting for the government to give an alternate plan, because this war is now no more about one particular area. It has spread and it has spread also in the cities of Pakistan.  Indeed, it is a very serious situation in Pakistan and has been for some time, and it is escalating.”
     
    Beefing up security

    Security has been beefed up around the country, including Islamabad, to discourage militant reaction to the Waziristan army offensive.
     
    Afrasiab Khattak, a member of the Pakistani Senate, said the country needs to be on alert.
     
    “I think we can expect more attacks, terrorist attacks against civilian targets and against military targets, particularly spectacular attacks which will gain more publicity and attention.  So, I think our society and state should be prepared for that,” said Khattak.
     
    Military officials say that Afghan border security forces have also been requested to seal the border on their side to facilitate Pakistan’s anti-terrorism action and prevent militants from escaping across the border.
     
    The United States has long demanded Pakistan undertake a full-scale army operation in North Waziristan, insisting al-Qaida and Afghan militants hiding there are fueling the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan. Some American officials have condemned the region as an epicenter of international terrorism. 
     
    A number of ethnic Uighur militants, who operate alongside Uzbek fighters were also killed in Sunday’s air strikes.  Chinese authorities believe the Uighur separatists based in the Pakistani tribal area are behind insurgent attacks in their restive Xinjiang province.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Truth from: Chicago
    June 16, 2014 10:32 AM
    The terrorists are the front lines of Pakistan . The Pakistanis are the ones that are giving their live to terrorists that were surged into the region thanks to our air headed war . Now Pakistan takes full action and rather than stand up and support the troops there are people still talking smack about them. If it were American lives in direct danger even we would've hesitated with an all out war. We are blessed to be so far from all our battlefronts, but our allies aren't as lucky. So either you support Pakistan or you're with the terrorists pick a side

    by: mazhar from: pakistan
    June 16, 2014 1:50 AM
    greak action by pak army

    by: Doug from: Canada
    June 15, 2014 9:55 PM
    Pakistan has said this so many times before and never succeeded and it will be the same senario again.As soon as the Taliban begins to strike back with terror attacks,that kills hundreds of civilians the government will back off and claim again that its just impossible to defeat them.For some reason Pakistan just cannot or will not do what it takes to eliminate this menace to our world.

    by: jhon devera from: philippines
    June 15, 2014 7:18 PM
    Its about time Pakistan Government take action, death is filing high.

    by: Ed Miller
    June 15, 2014 5:12 PM
    Seems like its always the "decisive" or "final" or "great" war. That is until the next war comes along!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.