US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said the Pakistan's army recently indicated to begin combat operations soon in a tribal area near the Afghan border that US considers as a haven for al-Qaeda-affiliated militants. Panetta on Monday said Pakistan's military leadership gave word of the planned operation in recent conversations with the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen. It should be mentioned here that a week ago, some reports did take  rounds that the joint operations had been discussed during Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lt Gen Zahir-ul-Islam's meetings with CIA and US military officials in his Washington visit. A report also said Gen John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, too discussed the matter during a meeting with Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Rawalpindi last week. However, Pakistan's military leadership declared all such reports as baseless, saying, it was not mounting joint operations with the US against Haqqani fighters holed up in the lawless North Waziristan region, and it alone would decide when to conduct campaigns within Pakistani territory. "Coordinated actions on the respective side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, being part of routine, should not be mistaken for joint operations," the military official said. Panetta said he did not know when the Pakistani operation would start, but he said he understands it will be in the "near future," and that the main target will be the Pakistani Taliban, rather than the Haqqani network.