Ready for talks with militants if they surrender: Gilani

Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani Wednesday said his government is ready to hold talks with militants who "decommission" themselves and surrender to political authorities in the country`s restive tribal belt.

Islamabad: Describing terrorism and extremism as the "biggest threat" to Pakistan, Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani Wednesday said his government is ready to hold talks with
militants who "decommission" themselves and surrender to political authorities in the country`s restive tribal belt.

"If they decommission themselves and surrender to the
political agents, then we are ready to hold talks with them,"
Gilani told reporters on the sidelines of an official function
here.

"We cannot hold talk with terrorists," he said.

The world knows that the "biggest threat" facing Pakistan
comes from terrorism and extremism, he added.

The government will not make any compromises on national
security as terrorism is responsible for the economic
challenges confronting the country, Gilani said in response to
questions from the media.
The war on terrorism is being fought by the government in
consultation with the leadership of all political parties, he
said.

Operations against militants had been successful because
they were backed by the people and the political leadership,
he said.
Though law and order is a provincial issue, federal and
provincial authorities have to jointly tackle terrorism as its
effects are being felt everywhere, the Premier said.

Collective wisdom is also needed to contain violence in
the financial hub of Karachi and consultations are being held
to find a solution, he said.

PTI

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