No decision on military operation in N Waziristan: Rehman Malik
Islamabad: Pakistan government has not yet made any decision about launching a military operation against militants in the North Waziristan tribal region, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Wednesday.
"For the time being, there is no such plan for a military operation in North Waziristan. But if needed, the decision will be taken by the political and military leadership of the country," Malik said while speaking in the Senate or upper house of parliament.
Malik made the remarks against the backdrop of growing speculation that the government could order an offensive against militants in the restive North Waziristan Agency in the aftermath of an attempt by the banned Taliban to assassinate teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai.
Though the civil and military leadership initially condemned the attack on 14-year-old Malala and spoke of the need to act against militants, sources said the government was reluctant to launch any fresh operation in the run-up to the general election scheduled for early next year.
Malik said the government is committed to take action against terrorists.
"We will eliminate terrorism from our soil and will take action against terrorists wherever they are found in any part of the country," he said.
He said he had announced a bounty of Rs 100 million for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan, who had claimed responsibility for the attack on Malala.
Anyone who provides a tip-off that leads to the arrest of Ihsan or the "end his life" would get the reward, he said.
Malik further said there were reports that the TTP is planning to replace its current head, Hakimullah Mehsud, with Maulana Fazlullah, the former leader of the Taliban in the Swat Valley.
Fazlullah had fled to Afghanistan after the army launched an operation in Swat in 2009.
The people involved in the attack on Malala have nothing to do with Islam and humanity, Malik said.
"They are enemies of Islam and Pakistan," he added.
Malik said it was regrettable that some people were afraid to name the elements involved in the attack on Malala.
The government is ready to hold a dialogue with the militants if they surrender and accept the state?s writ, he said.