Gilani blames Kayani for delaying North Waziristan operation

Former Pakistan prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani criticised ex-Army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani for not launching a military operation against militants in the restive North Waziristan during his tenure.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 11, 2014, 21:26 PM IST

Islamabad: Former Pakistan prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday criticised ex-Army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani for not launching a military operation against militants in the restive North Waziristan during his tenure.

Gilani, who was prime minister from 2008-2012, said he wanted action against the militants in the tribal region after the successful army operation in Swat and South Waziristan in 2009.

But "Kayani said that leave it to us (army) to decide when the operation in North Waziristan will be launched," Gilani told reporters.

Gilani`s revelations came days after former military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas accused Kayani of "reluctance" in fighting rebels in North Waziristan.
Abbas had said Kayani feared the militants would hit back and target urban centres in response to any offensive by the Army.

The military operation which Kayani could not decide in six years was launched by his successor General Raheel Sharif on June 15.

Pakistan Army launched operation Zarb-i-Azb to clear North Waziristan from militants` control and destroy their safe havens after a deadly attack on Karachi airport on June 8. At least 26 people were killed in the attack. The security forces however neutralised all the 10 militants, all Uzbeks, in an operation running into several hours.

Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Uzbek militant group Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan had claimed responsibility for the Karachi attack.
Kayani, who retired in November, has not responded to these allegations so far. It is believed that military officials are not allowed to talk about professional matters for about two years after their retirement.

Gilani also criticised Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s stance on the treason trial of former Army chief and President Pervez Musharraf. He said it was not appropriate.

The former prime minister claimed that during negotiations Musharraf was guaranteed a safe passage by the civilian government if he stepped down in 2008. He said Sharif should have adhered to the "understanding" reached then.