Pak forces closing in on Taliban: Army Chief
Last Updated: Saturday, October 24, 2009, 13:14
  
Islamabad: The security forces are closing in on the Taliban in the South Waziristan region along the border with Afghanistan, the Pakistani Army Chief has said.

Briefing a high level meeting on Friday about the operations, Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said they were successfully moving towards desired objectives, adding that the Army was trying to minimise collateral damage in the operations that began last Saturday.

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, highlighted the "unprecedented cooperation and coordination between the top civilian and military leadership. The Prime Minister assured that requirements of all agencies involved in combating militants would be met on a priority basis", Dawn reported on Saturday.

Discussing short and long-term counter-terrorism measures, the Prime Minister reiterated that the military operation in South Waziristan would continue till the Taliban were eliminated.

The meeting reviewed the strategies formulated by the security agencies for the operation's success and decided to solicit more political support.

Gilani said more than 120,000 people had migrated from South Waziristan and were camped in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank, adding that the government would provide them cash assistance of Rs 5,000 per month in addition to rations and relief items.

The Prime Minister also ordered the heads of sensitive security and intelligence agencies to streamline their performance to pre-empt the recurrence of terrorism and promised to provide a generous flow of funds and equipment.

Gilani said that the entire nation was united against terrorists and failure was not an option despite the ferocity of their attacks, adding that elements challenging the state's writ would be dealt with an iron fist.

Pakistan has witnessed a spate of attacks this month, the latest on Friday in which 25 people were killed in a series of explosions across the country. On Thursday, a Pakistani Army brigadier was shot dead here while on Tuesday, six people, including three women, were killed in a suicide bombing at the Islamic University here.

On October 10, the Taliban laid a 22-hour siege to the Pakistani military headquarters in Rawalpindi, taking 39 officers and soldiers hostage before the attackers were overpowered. Five days later, the militants attacked three police establishments in Lahore.

The Prime Minister said that terrorism had destroyed peace, bruised the national economy and threatened the people's well-being.

The meeting praised the role of the media in formulating public opinion against terrorism and extremism, but said it should not glorify terrorists and terrorism and urged it to avoid live coverage of such incidents because it created panic and despondency.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik also gave an overview of the law and order situation.

IANS


First Published: Saturday, October 24, 2009, 13:14


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