The Pakistani Army is planning to launch an offensive in Waziristan against Beitullah Mehsud next month. Sources close to the Pakistani military said the goal would be to restore state control over the area.
Western diplomats in Islamabad also confirmed plans for the offensive and said Islamabad could declare an emergency in the North West Frontier Province to facilitate the operation.
The province is already facing the pressure of having to care for an estimated half a million refugees fleeing the fighting in Swat and Buner.
The US is rushing $5 million in emergency assistance but is facing an uphill battle trying to convince Congress on releasing $400 million in counter-insurgency funding for the Pakistani military and nearly $2 billion in State Department assistance.
On Tuesday missiles fired by a US drone flattened a house in remote Pakistani tribal areas bordering Afghanistan killing eight people, all militants, official said.
Two missiles fired by the drone hit a compound in Sara Khwara in South Waziristan tribal region, in the second such drone attack in less than two days.
The house, according to officials, was being used by militants to stay before crossing the border or coming back from Afghanistan.
Check out this TIME article on Baitullah Mehsud.
On 31 March, Baitullah telephoned several major media organisations to claim responsibility for the dramatic assault on a police training academy in Manawan, near Lahore, the previous day. Seven policemen and two civilians were killed in a protracted battle that ended after four attackers were killed and three captured. Baitullah told the Associated Press that the attack was retaliation for United States drone strikes against targets in the FATA. He said: "Soon we will launch an attack in Washington that will amaze everyone in the world."