Pakistan Army Off Osama Hunt?
The Pakistan army said Saturday it will withdraw hundreds of troops from a tense tribal region near Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden and his top deputy were believed to be hiding.
The withdrawals from the South Waziristan area come after several military operations by thousands of troops against remnants of bin Laden’s al Qaeda organization and its supporters in recent months.
The army will remove checkpoints in Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, Lt. Gen. Safdar Hussain, the top general in northwestern Pakistan, said after meeting with tribal elders Friday.
He said the moves are “in return for the support of tribesmen in operations against foreign miscreants.” Some troops will remain in the area, he said.
“We have been assured by tribal elders that they will not allow miscreants to hide in areas under their control,” Hussain said.
It will be interesting to see if this leads to anything other than unrestrained Al Qaeda activity in the area.