Islamabad: In view of deteriorating security situation and continued Taliban-sponsored suicide attacks in Pakistan, the Interior Ministry has cancelled all pre-sanctioned leaves of the armed forces for the next two months.
According to reports, Interior Minister Rehman Mallik has ordered the immediate cancellation of all leaves sanctioned to the Pakistani Rangers and Army officers with immediate effect from November 16, 2009 till January 16, 2010.
The urgent measure comes in wake of a series of recent suicide blasts in various cities of Pakistan in which over 300 people were killed and several hundred seriously injured. No Pakistani city has been left untouched by the deadly spell of killings. Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar have been the most seriously effected.
The militants have also time and again attacked the Pakistan Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi causing huge damage to the armed forces.
The alarming law and order situation has probably forced the establishment in Pakistan to call back all men to duty and has asked them to report to their respective battalions as soon as possible.
One more reason for quashing the sanctioned leaves could be attributed to Pakistan’s increased offensive in Taliban strongholds in Waziristan near the Afghanistan border.
Pakistan Army is slowly gaining foothold in Taliban dominated area with every passing day and claims to have killed key insurgents.
This latest assault is seen as crucial in defeating extremism in the country.
The push into South Waziristan`s mountains has triggered a backlash from insurgents. They are trying to bring the war out of the Northwestern region, and into the country`s cities, in hopes of eroding public and political support.
The military had earlier captured Kotkai, the hometown of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud. Pak Army has also announced a bounty on the Taliban fighters who wanted to surrender.