Zee Media Bureau
Islamabad: Justifying the full-fledged military operation launched by the Pakistan Army in the North Waziristan province, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday issued a sharp worded warning against the terrorists, saying that the dialogue process with the terrorists had failed to yield results and hence the offensive would continue till terrorism was eliminated from the country.
Addressing the National Assembly on Monday, Mr Sharif said that despite continued attacks, Pakistan gave peace talks a chance but all the efforts went in vain with no progress after four and a half months of trying peace.
Sharif`s remarks came as Pakistan Army said that it had killed 177 militants during the military operation code-named Zarb-e-Azb, which translates to "Strike of the Prophet`s Sword".
The full scale military operation launched in North Waziristan was triggered by the deadly Taliban raid on Karachi airport that killed over 30.
"On one hand we were pursuing dialogue, and on the other we were being targeted.We were pursuing talks, but from Islamabad courts to Karachi airport we were attacked," Sharif said in the NA.
"Our places of worship and mosques were targeted, our schools were targeted. We will change the fate of this country and under no circumstances will the country be allowed to serve as a safe haven for terrorists."
Sharif also said that the country had paid a heavy price of militancy as during 10 to 12 years of militancy, the country suffered USD 103 billion of economic losses.
"We will now allow Pakistan to become a sanctuary of terrorists," Sharif announced.
Sharif, who had launched peace talks in January to solve militancy, accused Taliban of sabotaging the entire peace process.
Pakistani fighter jets pounded North Waziristan on Monday, a day after the Army announced the start of a full-scale military operation to flush Islamist insurgents out of the volatile region bordering Afghanistan.
In a long-awaited military operation precipitated by a deadly insurgent attack on Pakistan`s biggest airport a week ago, Pakistan has deployed troops, artillery and helicopter gunships to fight insurgents in North Waziristan.
The Taliban and their ethnic Uzbek allies holed up in North Waziristan have both claimed responsibility for the June 8 commando-style attack on Karachi airport, which was seen as a strategic turning point in how Pakistan tackles the insurgency.
The army imposed an all-day curfew in North Waziristan as the operation got under way and turned off mobile phone services to undermine the insurgency and restrict people`s movements.
With Agency Inputs