Gilani warns of military ops on safe havens of militants

Last Updated: Saturday, May 29, 2010 - 17:50

Islamabad: A day after militants carried
out carnage in two mosques in Lahore, Pakistan Prime Minister
Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday said his government will launch
military operations on all safe havens of such elements.

Vowing not to bow before extremism and terrorism,
Gilani said: "Wherever the writ of the government is
challenged, military operations will be conducted."

The Prime Minister was addressing a gathering in
Pakistan`s restive northwest headquarter town of Saidu Sharif
in Swat valley, which was cleared of Taliban militants
following a campaign launched by the army last year.

"The writ of the government will be established at all
costs. If the government fails to protect the lives of the
people and their property, then it has failed in its
obligations and we will not let it happen," he said.

Though Pakistan`s campaign against extremism and
terrorism was its own war, the entire world had benefited from
the move, Gilani contended.

The peace and progress of the world is linked to the
success of campaigns like the one conducted by the Pakistan
Army in Swat, he said.

He said the decision to conduct a military operation
in Swat and other parts of the Malakand division was made as a
"last choice" because the government wanted to ensure that
peace is not disturbed and the lives and property of the
people are protected at all costs.

Gilani condemned yesterday`s terrorist attacks on two
mosques of the minority Ahmedi sect in Lahore that claimed
over 80 lives.

He said his government will do everything within its
means to protect the lives of all people, irrespective of
whether they belonged to minority communities.

Incidents such as the one in Lahore have brought a bad
name to Pakistan, he added.

"Certain elements" did not want to see the people in
places like Swat living peacefully and had resorted to
terrorism in the name of Sharia or Islamic law, he said.

Referring to the decision to allow the setting up of
Islamic courts in Malakand division last year, he said the
government accepted the demands of these elements but they
"changed tactics and resorted to violence and extremist acts".

The terrorists wanted to hold the government hostage
and gave authorities in Swat "a notice of five days" but such
acts could not be tolerated, Gilani said.

The government could not stand by and watch as girls`
schools were destroyed, people were butchered and the
administration was held hostage, he said.


First Published: Saturday, May 29, 2010 - 17:50

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