`Pak govt authorises Kayani to take decision on NW operation`

Pak govt has authorised Army Chief to take a final decision on when and how to launch an operation against Taliban in the restive N Waziristan as it insisted that no "external pressure" would be accepted on the issue.

Last Updated: Nov 24, 2010, 14:40 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan government has authorised
army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to take a final decision
on when and how to launch an operation against the Taliban in
the restive North Waziristan tribal region as it insisted that
no "external pressure" would be accepted on the issue.

The decision to allow Kayani to finalise the contours of
the operation in North Waziristan tribal agency was made at a
meeting yesterday that was attended by President Asif Ali
Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the army chief,
`The Express Tribune` newspaper reported today, quoting
military sources.

The trio discussed key issues, including a "possible
military operation in North Waziristan agency," the border
situation and internal and external threats to Pakistan, the
report said.

"The meeting decided that it was for Islamabad to take a
decision about launching a military operation in any part of
the country. And that no external pressure would be accepted
in this regard," the report said.

The trio discussed the "fluid security situation in the
tribal regions and in Balochistan" and also "took up the issue
of increasing US drone strikes in the tribal regions and
reports in the US media about possible expansion in the drone
campaign," the paper said.

The three leaders decided that the US "would not be
allowed to expand drone attacks to any other part" of
Pakistan.

A statement issued yesterday by the presidency only said
that the meeting was a "part of the consultative process" and
that the three leaders had discussed "matters concerning the
security situation."

The US has stepped up pressure on Pakistan in recent
months to move troops into North Waziristan, considered the
hub of Taliban and al Qaeda elements that target American and
allied forces across the border in Afghanistan.

PTI