100,000 Pak troops have moved from eastern border to crackdown on militants along the Afghan border.

The Pentagon also acknowledges that Pakistani military operations in the tribal regions have had an impact across the border, placing a “high degree of pressure on enemy forces and reduced insurgent safe haven” in eastern Afghanistan. — Photo by AFP

‘Pakistan has moved 100,000 troops from eastern border’

By Dawn Correspondent||Fri, 30 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 15, 1431

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has deployed 140,000 troops in Fata, moving at least 100,000 soldiers from the Indian border to back up its ‘unprecedented’ crackdown on militants along the Afghan border, says a Pentagon report.

In its mandatory report to the US Congress on the situation in the Pakistan-Afghan region, the Pentagon notes that the deployment is the biggest in the country’s history on the western border.

“This unprecedented deployment and thinning of the lines against India indicates that Islamabad has acknowledged its domestic insurgent threat.”

The Pentagon also acknowledges that Pakistani military operations in the tribal regions have had an impact across the border, placing a “high degree of pressure on enemy forces and reduced insurgent safe haven” in eastern Afghanistan.

The Pentagon informs Congress that recent arrests by Pakistan of Afghan Taliban leaders, including the group’s No. 2, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, have “increased insurgent leaders’ concern over the security of their safe havens” and created “financial and logistical” problems for them.

This assessment contrasts sharply with the Afghan claim — backed by India — that the arrests have weakened Kabul’s efforts to seek a negotiated settlement with the Taliban leadership.

The report quotes a senior US defence official as saying that the arrests in Pakistan produced “a lot of concerned chatter” among Taliban sympathisers in Afghanistan, but there’s no indication of “a leadership crisis in the Taliban”.

The Pentagon notes that so far the crackdown in Pakistan is focused almost exclusively on internal threats and that’s why it’s not having any “significant impact on the Afghan insurgency in the short term”.

But the crackdown “offers opportunities in coming months to have a greater impact on the conflict in Afghanistan depending on how PAKMIL (Pakistani military) operations evolve,” the report adds.

“Pakistan has suffered attacks from terrorists in response to its successful operations. These attacks include mass casualty events in Mingora, South Waziristan agency close to clearing operations as well as in Lahore, far away from the fighting. “While these attacks do not appear to have shaken Pakistan’s commitment, they do demonstrate, for the time being, insurgent ability to continue attacks despite successful Pakistani operations,” the report warns.

Courtesy : DawnNews, AFP.

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