News / Asia

Pakistan Jets Bomb Militants

Sharon Behn
Pakistan jets pounded Taliban hideouts in the country's remote tribal northwestern region Tuesday, killing some 30 militants.

Pakistan’s Cabinet on Tuesday approved a key internal security policy that aims to set the tone for how the government plans to tackle militant threats, including the Taliban insurgency.
 
The Cabinet also called on the Taliban to announce an unconditional and unilateral ceasefire, before any kind of peace talks can take place.
 
As former military spokesman Retired Major General Athar Abbas explains, the policy paper is a long-term strategy that still needs parliamentary approval.
 
Abbas says given the recent forceful military reaction against militant attacks, there may well be a full-scale military operation against the Taliban insurgents before the new policy is implemented.
 
“I am not sure whether a final decision has been taken with regards to the operations in North Waziristan, but for sure the military has gone on a very strong reaction to individual incidents. It may be a precursor to the main military operation there,” he said.

Hundreds of families are already fleeing the North Waziristan area on fears that the recent air strikes are meant to soften militant targets before a major offensive is launched.
 
The government on Tuesday appointed a liaison for internally displaced people leaving North Waziristan, an area known as a militant stronghold.
 
Interior Minister Choudhry Nisar Ali Khan is expected to unveil the policy’s details to the national assembly on Wednesday.
 
The military has long resisted conducting a major operation in North Waziristan, and strong divisions remain in Pakistan over whether that is the best way forward.
 
But Frederic Grare, an analyst with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says the shifting political situation in Afghanistan could spur the government and military to forcefully tackle the Pakistan Taliban before the end of 2014.
 
“What they seem to fear is an alliance between the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, and in the very probable occurrence where the Afghan Taliban would not be in a position to conquer Kabul any time soon, then the possibility that they may join hands with Pakistani Taliban,” he said.

Such an alliance, Grare says, could encourage the militant groups to grab control of northwest Pakistan to form a de facto ideological state, which would threaten the integrity of Pakistan.
 
“This is something which I think finds an echo in the military mind as well, and is clearly something that inhibits their policy vis-à-vis Afghanistan,” he said.

Both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his chief political opponent, Imran Khan, have insisted that a political settlement is the only way to end the seven-year Taliban insurgency.
 
But attempts at peace talks collapsed in the wake of relentlessly lethal militant attacks stretching from the southern city of Karachi to the country’s northwest.
 
In retaliation to the Taliban attacks, military jets and helicopter gunships pounded militant strongholds across Pakistan’s northwest tribal region for the fifth consecutive day Tuesday.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid