Saturday, 15 November 2014

Operation Zarb-e-Azb has boosted US confidence in Pakistan: report

WASHINGTON: The Operation Zarb-e-Operation has boosted US confidence in Pakistan’s commitment to combating terrorist groups operating within its borders, a Washington Post report said.
Army chief General Raheel Sharif’s visit to the United States will be marked by greater optimism and trust between the two countries, according to the newspaper report on Friday. It said the army chief’s first visit to the US taking place at the invitation of Chairman Joint Chiefs Staff Gen Martin Dempsy cited an improved environment with upward trajectory of Pakistan-US relations, Pakistan’s disruption of militant groups in North Waziristan with its major Zarb-e-Azb operation as well as improving relations between Islamabad and Kabul.
Referring to the ongoing Zarb-e-Azb operation in North Waziristan, the Post noted that the US officials statements show that the offensive has boosted their confidence in Pakistan’s commitment to combating terrorist groups operating within its borders. The report quoted Lt Gen Joseph Anderson, a senior commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, who told reporters that the Haqqani Afghan insurgent group “is now fractured”. “That’s based pretty much on the Pakistan ops in North Waziristan this entire summer-fall,” the Post quoted Anderson’s remarks made last week.
“That has very much disrupted their efforts here and has caused them to be less effective in terms of their ability to pull off an attack here in Kabul,” Anderson had said. Anderson’s remarks are helping to set the tone for Raheel Sharif’s weeklong visit, which also coincides with growing optimism that relations among the United States, Pakistan and Afghanistan are improving now that Hamid Karzai is no longer the Afghan president, the newspaper noted. “Both sides are aware of this historical moment and are taking steps to seize this moment,” US Ambassador Richard G Olson said in a speech Wednesday in Islamabad, according to the report.