the deployment could be part of a military drill to later launch a ground assault against the Taliban-allied Haqqani network of militants.Tribal sources, meanwhile, said that a curfew had come into force, preventing the Pakistani troops' freedom of movement in the violence-hit region.
Last month, former US Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen claimed that Pakistan's intelligence agency was supporting the network, which has been blamed for assault on the US embassy in the Afghan capital, Kabul. "The Haqqani network, for one, acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency," he had asserted.
The remarks prompted harsh responses from Pakistani officials, with the country's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani retorting that “this particular network, which the United States continues to talk about, is a network which was the blue-eyed boy of the [US Central Intelligence Agency] CIA itself for many years.”
"It is something that goes very, very unappreciated on our side,” she added, "This is unsubstantiated. No evidence has been shared with us."
Washington has frequently blamed Islamabad for not doing enough to fight terrorism in its troubled northwestern tribal belt, which runs along the Afghan border.
In line with the accusation, the US has authorized the CIA to carry out non-UN-sanctioned drone attacks on the Pakistani soil.
Pakistan regards the strikes as violation of its sovereignty. Last year alone, the attacks killed over 1,200 people and injured hundreds more.