A rebel 'commander' of the new Pakistani Taliban running wild in Pakistan
offered truce to allow elders to broker a settlement after months of fierce
fighting "as the government wants to set up a tribal jirga (council of elders)
Since last year, Pakistani security forces have killed more than 300
militants, including 75 foreigners in North Waziristan. Several Arab
lieutenants of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden have been killed in North
Waziristan by Pakistani forces and US has used unmanned drone aircraft to carry
out missile strikes on al Qaeda targets from across the border in Afghanistan.
Although bin Laden is believed to have passed through North Waziristan to
escape allied forces in late 2001 and is believed to be hiding somewhere on the
Afghan-Pakistan border, given the security forces’ focus on the area, many
security analysts doubt he is in Waziristan, .
Early March, Pakistan effectively used helicopter-laden missiles to destroy a
large deployment of al Qaeda fighters in the mountains on the border. This
invited militant Muslim clerics to incite a call to arms by in North Waziristan.
Pakistan is believed to have deployed 80,000 regular troops on the border with
Afghanistan and mostly deployed in North and South Waziristan where al Qaeda,
Taliban remnants, and the new Taliban are fighting alongside.