War in Waziristan?

Great, just what we need—military incursions to provoke a general uprising in Pakistan’s increasingly restive Tribal Areas. Just to give the teetering edifice of Musharraf’s dictatorship a healthy shove towards the abyss. Then we can have a nuclear-armed Taliban in power. From VOA, March 1, via Global Security:

Pakistan Forces Strike Suspected Militant Camp in North Waziristan
Pakistani security forces have attacked a suspected militant training camp near the Afghan border early Tuesday morning. Officials say the raid killed or wounded at least 25 militants and destroyed an explosives stockpile.

Pakistani officials say they launched their offensive before seven a.m. Tuesday as the militants were returning from a raid inside Afghanistan. Ground troops, backed by helicopter gunships, led the attack on the training camp less than five kilometers from the border.

“This compound was targeted early this morning once we got confirmed intelligence that there was a large number of foreign terrorists,” said military spokesman, Major-General Shaukat Sultan.

Sultan says the offensive also destroyed a massive cache of arms, rockets and explosives.

Pakistan has deployed tens of thousands of troop to the North Waziristan tribal area to wipe out Taleban insurgent and al-Qaida terrorist camps.

Tuesday’s raid comes ahead of President Bush’s first visit to Pakistan later this week.

Waziristan is an autonomous region within Pakistan, under a deal dating to the British colonial system. Military incursions into the region have escalated over the past two years, following speculation that Osama bin Laden is hiding there. (See BBC, March 4, 2004.) As we have noted, Waziristan has already seen low-level guerilla warfare against Pakistani federal forces in recent months.

See our last post on Pakistan.