No Operation Underway in North Waziristan; Only Targeted Strikes Being Conducted in Response: Nisar

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Targeted Strikes, North Waziristan, Minister for Interior, Chaudhary Nishar Ali KhanPESHAWAR: Minister for Interior, Chaudhary Nishar Ali Khan Thursday said no military operation was underway in North Waziristan Agency and only targeted strikes are being conducted in response to violence incidents.

He was addressing a press conference at Governor House after detailed meeting with Governor Khyber Pakthunkhwa Engr Shaukatullah Khan and Chief Minister Pervez Khattak about the overall law and order and security situation in KP and FATA.

The Interior Minister made it clear that no military operation was underway in North Waziristan Agency and only targeted strikes are being carried out in reaction to violent and inhuman activities of perpetrators.

He said great care is being taken to avoid collateral damage in this regard.

Ch Nisar said, “If peace dialogue is successful, then well and good, otherwise, the Government will use other options to establish durable peace.”

“Those who believed in Pakistan and accept Government’s writ, is our friend and those do not believe in Pakistan and Government’s writ, is our enemy”, he added.

He said Government cannot tolerate violence on streets and alleys and any hurdle in way of peace would be completely eliminated.

He said “there will no politics on national issues including peace and all available resources would be utilized to achieve this objective for which our people, politicians, security forces and media persons had sacrificed their lives.”

The Interior Minister said that the issue of terrorism will be resolved with political consensus, no matter what option is exercised.

He regretted that despite serious situation, previous governments did not bother to formulate a focused national security policy.

In record five-month time, he said the present elected Government has announced a comprehensive national policy for internal security to counter terrorism in the country.

This policy was formulated following consultations with all stakeholders and keeping in view the international models, he added.

He said “This policy is not a final word and genuine inputs of parliamentarians and others segments of the society would be welcomed and incorporated in the policy”.

He said national security was a matter of existence and future of the country and for this reason, the government made untiring efforts to formulate a comprehensive policy.

He expressed the confidence that the present Government will rid the country of the menace of terrorism with cooperation of people, security forces and other national institutions.

He said basic change in Government policy, has been introduced and decision has been made to target perpetrators involved in terrorism and militancy.

He said from day one, the government has given priority to the dialogue option with those who wanted to talk. He made it clear that violence and talks cannot go side by side.

To counter terrorism, the Interior Minister said a rapid response force will initially be established in Islamabad and would be later extended to other four provinces after consultation of the provincial governments.

He said rapid response force would comprise of high professional and would be trained according to contemporary standards.

He appreciated the practical work, done by KP and Punjab Governments towards rapid response force and expressed the hope that Sindh and Balochistan Governments would also do necessary work.

To avoid loss of human lives of Bomb Disposal Units while defusing bomb and IED devices, he said 65 vehicles with all modern facilities are ready and would be handed over to provinces very soon.

The force will be fully equipped to react promptly to a terror incident, he said and added a joint directorate of intelligence agencies are being set up with prime focus to frustrate terrorists disigns before happening.

He said it would be extremely good if all Chief Ministers and a team of Federal Ministers meet to ponder over the security situation at least once in a month at appropriate place that would enhance cooperation and liaison.

He said that he held meeting with the Chief Minister KP Pervez Khattak who has accepted his request regarding continuation of incumbent Chief Secretary’s services in KP.

Governor KP Engr Shaukatullah, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, PM Special Advisor Khwaja Zahir besides Chief Secretary Arbab Shahzad and IGP Nasir Durrani were also present on the occasion.

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