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.” In August 2004, Musharraf vowed that he would not let jihadists from Pakistan cross into Afghanistan and attempt to disrupt the elections there.
Asked if the Taliban’s days were numbered, Musharraf said, “It appears so” — on October 1, 2001.
Why do the Pakistanis keep claiming that the defeat of the Islamic jihadists is imminent? Because it keeps the checks coming from Washington.
Here’s the latest: “Pakistan army: We have broken terrorists’ backbone,” from AP, April 24:
ISLAMABAD – PAKISTAN’S army chief [General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani] said on Saturday that his forces have broken the ‘backbone’ of Islamist militants in the country in an apparent attempt to counter American criticism over the country’s campaign against extremism….
Hours after the statement, a suicide bomber on foot detonated his explosives alongside a convoy of Pakistani soldiers and elders from an anti-Taleban militia in the town of Salarzai in the Bajur tribal region….
The military in late 2009 had declared victory over insurgents in the area. Mr Rabbi said the army, paramilitary commanders and government officials met before the attack with the militia elders to discuss ways of keeping militants from infiltrating the area from various neighbouring regions and Afghanistan.
In a televised address to the cadets at a Pakistan Military Academy in the north-western town of Kakool, General Kayani praised the role of his soldiers in fighting extremists.
‘In the war against terrorism, our officers and soldiers have made great sacrifices and have achieved tremendous successes,’ he said. ‘(The) terrorists’ backbone had been broken.’ General Kayani in recent weeks has also visited tribal areas near the Afghan border to boost the morale of troops deployed there to fight the Taleban, who often target security forces and government officials.