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The Pakistan Army has been operating in the tribal areas adjacent to Afghanistan for since 2002. Over 150,000 troops are currently deployed near the Afghan border in operations against militants. The army has carried out significant operations in the seven tribal agencies, as well as the Malakand Division, which includes Dir and Swat. In the process the Pakistan Army has achieved much, but this has come at a cost.
What lessons has the Army learnt and what are the prospects of achieving durable peace, especially in view of the forthcoming drawdown of NATO forces from Afghanistan? What are the opportunities and outlooks for such sustained operations? What is the Pakistan Army’s long-term strategy for achieving success against militants in the tribal areas?
Colonel Zulfiqar Ali Bhatty is the Army and Air Adviser at the High Commission for Pakistan in London since 2013. He was Chief of Staff of an Infantry brigade in North Waziristan in 2007 and more recently, commanded his regiment in Dir (near the Afghan border) in 2012–13. Colonel Bhatty was commissioned from Sandhurst and has attended the Advanced Command and Staff Course in Shrivenham, UK.
This meeting was chaired by Rahul Roy-Chaudhury, Senior Fellow for South Asia. It took place in the Lee Kuan Yew Conference Room at Arundel House, 13–15 Arundel Street, Temple Place, London WC2R 3DX.