Pakistan's Half-hearted Military Offensives Aren't Enough

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Pakistani military has launched a major offensive against the Taliban in the South Waziristan region. The area is home of the Pakistani Taliban; a terrorist outfit that conducts sabotage activities in Pakistan but remains aloof from the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan. North Waziristan, on the other hand, is the hub of the Afghan Taliban and they maintain cordial relations with Pakistani intelligence agencies and even get some tactile support. Although the Pakistani military is claiming victory and has faced minimal resistance but there are no independent resources to verify these reports. The area has been walled off for journalists and they have to rely on government handouts.

Additionally, there is a major crisis of people that have been displaced from the war-torn region. Secretary Clinton announced aid for the internally-displaced persons (IDP) and the Pakistani government has also announced a meager aid to these people. American military is also secretly complimenting the offensive by providing modern weapons and gadgetry to the Pakistani army. This is in addition to $7.5 billions given under the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation.

Despite an all-out effort by the US government, the Pakistani military is still reluctant on taking the Taliban challenge head-on. There have been reports in independent media -- Pakistani media face a lot of restrictions to reveal secrets and have just self-imposed a tougher censorship policy -- that the Pakistani military tipped off the Taliban before the offensive. According to a report in BBC Urdu, Pakistani intelligence agencies might have struck a deal with the Taliban in this regard.

It appears that the Pakistani military entered a deal with the Taliban where they agreed to avoid any "lose-lose" position. Pakistani military recaptured the territories while the Taliban retained their cadre, ammunition and organizational structure.

In any case, South Waziristan offensive was announced in May but it actually started after a delay of five months. It was enough time for the Taliban to finalize their combat strategies i.e. tacitcal retreat. The Pakistani military has benefited from this deal but not the common Pakistanis. Terrorist attacks have become a daily affair and hardly a day passes when dozens of people do not lose their lives.

North Waziristan Taliban, under the leadership of Haqqanis, are still strong in their bases and gathering support from some elements of the Pakistani military. As the Pakistani Taliban have also joined them in recent weeks, they might launch major attacks in Afghanistan. Although the real perpetrators of this carnage remain in the "open closet", the lack of a concerted effort would hamper any half-hearted attempts of the Pakistani military.