`Foreign hands` fomenting NW unrest: Pak Gen

Last Updated: Monday, January 10, 2011 - 20:31

Peshawar: A Pakistan Army general on Sunday
blamed "foreign hands" for the unrest in the country`s
northwest, saying authorities had gathered credible evidence
of external interference in the restive tribal belt bordering
Afghanistan.

Lt Gen Asif Yasin Malik, the commander of the Peshawar
Corps, said: "We have credible evidence of the involvement of
foreign hands in the restive tribal regions along the Afghan
border and we presented the same to superior authorities for
necessary action".

Malik, who was talking to the media on the sidelines
of a seminar at the Corps Headquarters here, contended that
"foreign hands are helping anti-state elements to destabilise
Pakistan`s tribal regions for their vested interests".

He did not identify the "foreign hands".
Asked about recent incidents of terrorism in the
Mohmand Agency, Malik said there were "some pockets where
miscreants take the law into their hands" and action is being
taken against them.

The terrorists enter Pakistan through the western
border to disturb law and order in the tribal areas and then
return to war-torn Afghanistan, he said.

Work on road projects worth USD 2.5 million is
underway in South Waziristan Agency and will be completed by
June, Malik said.

A strategic corridor linking South Waziristan with
Tank, Dera Ismail Khan and Karachi as well as Afghanistan is
being established and this will spur economic activities in
the tribal region, he added.

The seminar on the theme "Human Rights Laws and Rules
of Engagements" was organised by army as part of its education
and capacity-building programmes for officers and soldiers.

Malik claimed some Western organisations and the
foreign media are behind "malicious and baseless" propaganda
about rights violations to undermine the successes in the war
against terror.

"This malicious propaganda by a section of the western
media and NGOs about human rights violations during operations
against terrorists and militants is an attempt to undermine
the unprecedented successes of our security forces," he said.

He said elements are resorting to such gimmicks to
"carry forward their vested agenda and demoralise our people".

The army accords high priority to human rights laws
and international conventions, he added.

In his inaugural address at the seminar, Malik said
the army`s operations were not against any sect, tribe or
people and strict action is being taken against those who take
law into their hands and challenge the government`s writ.

Extra care is being taken to avoid collateral damage
in military operations, he said.

Taliban militants have violated human rights laws and
conventions by publicly beheading innocent people in the Swat
valley, he said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, January 10, 2011 - 20:31

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