‘Where are the Europeans? Where is the OIC?’ Ambassador Richard Holbrooke had asked during his visit to the Shah Mansoor Camp. —Reuters/File
The U.S. envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan said on Wednesday he had noticed a dramatic change in Pakistan’s attitude toward fighting Islamist extremists during his visit there last week.
Richard Holbrooke told reporters he believed Pakistan’s leadership was strong enough to win the fight against the Taliban, a change in tone from earlier this year when the incoming Obama administration was skeptical about Islamabad’s resolve.
“What I saw in Pakistan on this trip was a slow emergence of a consensus behind the government’s actions,” Holbrooke said.
“Everywhere there was a dramatic change in attitude from my previous trips because of the outrages of the Taliban,” he added. “All of us are impressed by the military’s actions in the recent weeks.”
The Pakistani military launched an offensive in the Swat valley in May, heartening U.S. officials and other allies who had feared the nuclear-armed country could slide into chaos.
There are expectations the army will now turn its attention to other Taliban strongholds, like the South Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan, once Swat has been dealt with.
“Everyone recognizes that instability in Pakistan poses a threat to everywhere else,” he added.
Adnkronos International (AKI) has learned that the Hakimullah Mehsud and the Islamist group, Lashkar-i-Jangvi and others from the Omar group conducted the suicide bombing on the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar.
Orakzai agency does not touch any border with Afghanistan but it is situated in the middle of Khyber Agency, the route of the NATO’s supply line, Kurram Agency and very close to Peshawar.
The Taliban do not exist in Khyber Agency nor in Kurram Agency nor in Peshawar.
They have established themselves very firmly in Orakzai from where they send their men and resources to the areas like Khyber Agency, Kurram Agency and to Peshawar.
The emir of Orakzai’s Islamic Emirates is Moulvi Saeed but the public face of the Taliban is Hakimullah Mehsud, a relative of Baitullah Mehsud.
The Taliban of the Orakzai have very strong coordination with the Taliban of Darra Adam Khel, a town known for the local manufacturing of arms and ammunition.
Darra Adam Khel Taliban include the anti-Shia group Laskhar-e-Jhangvi, the group who abducted and beheaded Polish engineer, Piotr Stanczak, in September last year, the Arif Group, Ikram Group in Kohat and the Omar Group in Peshawar.
The Tuesday blast was the joint venture of Hakeemullah Mehsud group, the Omar Group of and the Laskhar-e-Jhangvi group of Darra Adam Khel.