No Pakistan victory in Orakzai despite hue and cry
It was a classic case of military hubris: when Pakistan announced it has defeated Taliban militants in one of their major bases recently, it was a far cry from reality in the volatile Orakzai region.
Pakistani military analysts say the victory announcement -- much like US President George W Bush's 2003 "mission accomplished" moment -- was based on "miscalculations" as officers thought militants would flee the region after many of their bases were captured.
They said the declaration itself appeared to be an attempt to boost the morale of a public suffering from years of attacks, nearly constant military campaigns and few apparent results.
"The announcement looks good to the Pakistani public. The public thinks it's an endless thing, especially in Orakzai. So they probably wanted to give the people some relief," said retired general Talat Masood, a military and security analyst.
"It was for domestic consumption. But unfortunately, this was not really the reality and their credibility is now in question.
"I think it was an honest misjudgement and some unnecessary exuberance."
Orakzai is one of the major bases of the Pakistani Taliban, which are fighting both the Pakistani state and coalition forces in Afghanistan. The precarious situation in the region highlights the challenges the Pakistani army faces in battling insurgents.
Security forces last month captured the major militant stronghold of Djabori, some 60 km (37 miles) from Orakzai's main town of Kalaya.
Soon afterwards, the Pakistan army chief, Gen Asfaq Kayani, flew to Orakzai on June 1 and declared victory over the Taliban there, saying it is winding up its offensive there as militants have been driven out of the region.
But just a day later, fierce clashes broke out in which 20 militants were killed.
"The situation is very dangerous in Orakzai. The militants are still controlling important mountains and they can stage a comeback," said tribal elder Lal Jan.