Is Paki army making any advances or just another psy-op by TOIlet for Bakistan?
IndraD, IMHO, there are three parts to the answer.
The first one is that the inner-most core that makes policy decisions for Pakistan, is not going to abandon or even change its implacability towards India. Their aim is India must be defeated. They have to use all resources on hand, knowing fully well that the task otherwise is absolutely impossible. The jihadis and the Taliban are therefore tools that cannot be forsaken. There could be tactical decisions that appear
to be counter to the above but strategically there is no wavering in the aim at least among the core.
Now, to the second part. There are still some credible reporters/analysts within Pakistan. As per them, there have been quite a few engagements between the Taliban and the PA and several Taliban have been killed. The PA's numbers may be overstated but there is no denying the fact that in the latest round which is variously referred to Rah-e-Haq 4 or Rah-e-Rast, the PA has shown some spine. Again, they have only used stand-off weapons, like the artillery, gunships, fighters and tanks rather than infantry. The collateral damage is very heavy and this is also being shown as proof of Pakistani determination !! Most of the Taliban have melted away, as they always do, and will re-appear after some time, as they always do. With no possibility of independent verification, the PA numbers cannot be believed. However, PA is fighting (or appearing
to fight) under US pressure and for the dollars that it sorely needs. It is not due to a change in ideology or strategy. The US wants to eliminate as much as possible the 'extremist' Taliban before it can hand over power to moderate Taliban and devise an exit strategy.
This is the third part. So, the inner-most core deliberately sends some troops to fight the Taliban, draws up military plans that look convincing, lets some of its soldiers killed in order to hoodwink the Americans. But, they carefully choose whom to fight. They fight the Uzbeks, Tajiks, Chechens and Arabs in whom the PA and the ISI have no strategic interest/value. They may also fight some local or Afghan Taliban whom they consider renegade or who have no utility value. But, generally, the tendency is to preserve the useful ones. The PA makes pre-attack announcement of its proposed action plan giving date, place and duration of its operation so that the Taliban can evaporate
. This is ostensibly being done to minimize civilian deaths. Later, PA claims it killed so many Taliban without ever showing any proof.
Mullah Omar, the Supreme Leader, has been categorical. He doesn't want the Taliban to fight the PA. He asked an old and ill Jalaluddin Haqqani to oversee the cementing of ties between Maulvi Nazeer and Gul Bahadur on the one hand (who are sarkari
Taliban from Waziristan) and Baitullah Mehsud on the other hand. Kayani has recently referred to the Taliban as 'strategic assets'. The CJCSC of PA, Tariq Majeed, readily accepted the Taliban offer to fight the IA, after 26/11. It is very clear therefore where matters lay and who are members of the inner-most core.