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Bridge for sale: Pakistan’s army chief says his forces have broken the jihadists’ “backbone”

In November 2009, Pakistan’s foreign minister, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said that the Taliban is being routed along the Afghanistan border. “The operation so far has been very successful,” he revealed. “The resistance that we were expecting initially did not come with the same swiftness we were expecting.”
AP reported that “Pakistan’s armed forces hope to rout Taliban militants in the rugged mountainous region along the border with Afghanistan before winter sets in by late December.” That’s late December 2009. Qureshi said that Pakistan’s armed forces have the Taliban “on the run. They are in retreat and there is disarray over there.”

In May 2009, Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said that the Pakistani military was just about to wrap up its offensive against the Taliban: “The operation against the terrorists is progressing very successfully and those who destroyed the peace of the nation are fleeing in disguise,” he said confidently. Only mop-up operations remained: “Troops will remain in the region until peace is ensured and all the displaced people return home.”

In late February 2009, Qureshi declared that “Pakistan is willing to work with the American administration to fight extremism and terrorism. We are determined to defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.” That was five months after Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, declared: “I will work to defeat the domestic Taliban insurgency and to ensure that Pakistani territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on our neighbors or on NATO forces in Afghanistan.”

Musharraf in November 2006 hotly denied that Pakistan was not doing everything it could to stop the Taliban and other terrorist elements. “We have suffered casualties. We have suffered about 600 dead. Now if you think that we are suffering dead by not doing any thing, or not doing enough, then we are not seeing reality.” That came fourteen months after Musharraf offered to erect a fence between Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to put an end to charges that Pakistani officials were aiding the Taliban rather than fighting against it.

In August 2005, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said: “We will fight a war against this danger to protect our independence and we will defeat it at every level.

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