Former director general of the ISPR says ex-military chief resisted a military operation in North Waziristan three years ago.
Pakistan’s former Army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, was the reason for the military’s reluctance in launching an offensive against the Taliban in the country’s tribal areas, according to the military spokesman who worked with him.
Former Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas told the BBC on Monday that the military had, collectively, decided to target militants in North Waziristan in 2011. “The military decided in 2011 to go for the military operation,” he said, “but General Ashfaq Kayani, the ex-Army chief, never approved it.”
Abbas said that Kayani kept using delaying tactics to avoid a military operation. “General Ashfaq Kayani avoided military action against militants through delaying tactics,” he said. “Due to this delay, the militants were allowed to gain in strength and now they have entered different parts of the country,” he added.
“I believe the situation would be quite different today if the operation against the militants had been initiated three years ago,” said Abbas.
Kayani retired from the military on Nov. 29, 2013, about six months after the PMLN-led government was elected into power. Gen. Raheel Sharif, the current Army chief, replaced him and was elevated over two senior generals for the position.
The Pakistan Army launched a military operation against militants in the North Waziristan tribal agency on June 15—a week after terrorists attacked the Karachi airport, killing over 28 people. According to the ISPR, over 300 militants have been killed in the ongoing offensive but there is no way to verify these claims as journalists are not permitted in the tribal region.