Whether the Pakistan Army should launch military operation against the terrorist sanctuaries in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) or not has long been a sensitive issue between Pakistan and the US. Previously adamant that there would be no such operation as the military is stretched thin and short of resources, General Kayani’s speech on 14th August and later news reports indicated that the country was being asked to align behind support for a major push in NWA. The US military leadership also expressed a sense of pleasant surprise at these announcements.

Meanwhile, the unease at use of the words “joint operation” has been dissipated to some extent by the explanation that US and Pakistani troops will work on their respective sides of the Durand Line simultaneously. There will be no US boots on the ground in Pakistan, as was feared. While it is good that the Pakistan Army has finally come out with some clarity on the North Waziristan Operation, there is a need to identify and name who exactly the targets are and what the operation will achieve, once concluded. Who exactly will the Army be combating and why is Corps Commander Peshawar, Lt-General Khalid Rabbani informing media representatives that there is no need of armed action at the moment, if his commanding officer has already indicated that there is? While Lt-General Rabbani is correct that the success of any such operation largely depended on the nation’s support, the decision must be explained to the people and in light of this transparency there is no doubt the support the army jawans require for the success of their dangerous mission will be found.