South Waziristan locals doubt Pak Army's motives in 'mother of all battles'

      The Pakistan Army may have pledged that it is going to root out the Taliban from its den in South Waziristan through the operation named 'Raah-e-Nijaat', but local residents are far from convinced that the government is really determined to wipe out the extremists, that it once nurtured. Despite repeated claims from the Pakistan Army that it is going to crush the extremists once for all in what has been termed as the 'mother of all battles', people see little change in the military's tactics. People are unsure whether to support the military in the offensive or not. "The government has used the people like toilet paper, used them and thrown them away," The Globe and Mail quoted a spiritual leader and founder of the anti-Taliban Mehsud militia, Maulvi Sher Mohammad, as saying. "We cannot fight alongside the army because my people do not yet know whether the army and the Taliban are friends or enemies.When we see the army crush them [the Taliban], then we'll believe," he added. People belonging to the Mehsud tribe strongly object the notion that they support the barabaric Taliban. "It is one hundred per cent wrong to say that the Mehsud are in favour of the Taliban," a schoolteacher in Ladha, South Waziristan said on conditions of anonymity. Many believe that the Pakistan Army's action against the Taliban was just a show to keep international aid coming in. "This fight is for American dollars. The government always has some deal with the Taliban. It is ordinary people who suffer," the report quoted Zahidullah Mehsud, a student, as saying. "This is all an ISI game," he added.

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