- Interior minister says recent airstrikes and limited military action in militant-infested area are in continuation of govt’s existing policy
- Says no decision to hand over security of major urban cities to army
- Rejects foreign news agency’s report about proceedings of recently-held security meeting
Pakistan has not decided to launch a full-scale military operation in North Waziristan, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Saturday, adding that the recent airstrikes and limited military action in the tribal region are in continuation of existing policy.
“No decision has been taken for a full scale military operation in North Waziristan and there was no decision to call off the dialogue process, nor has any such demand been made from either side,” Nisar said in an official statement.
The statement said the recent airstrikes are in continuation of the already taken decision that any act of violence or terrorism against civilian or military targets will meet a calibrated and measured response.
The interior minister also claimed that there was no decision to hand over security of major urban cities to the army. “No decision has been taken to hand over the security of Islamabad and other major cities to the army nor is NACTA involved in this matter in any manner,” said the interior minister.
Security forces security forces have pounded militant hideouts in different parts of North Waziristan during the past couple of days, stepping up pressure on militants in the tribal region.
The operation began a day after military planes and helicopter gunships attacked suspected militants’ hideouts in Miramshah and Mirali sub-district.
Officials put the death toll at 71 which, they say, include local and foreign militants. Residents, however, put the casualty figure at 80, including women and children.
The military action launched on Wednesday has resulted in displacement of a large number of civilians seeking shelter in adjoining districts.
REPORT NOT FACTUAL:
Nisar also termed as “nonsensical and farcical” the contents of a report by a foreign news agency about the proceedings and content of a recently-held security meeting chaired by the prime minister.
“This is not the first time that this news agency has come up with whimsical and distorted reports about civil-military relations. The meeting was held in a highly congenial and positive atmosphere in which wide ranging issues pertaining to national security including the situation on our borders was discussed,” he added.