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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan-Tribal Areas-Operation Military operation in tribal areas last option, says PM

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, June 26 , IRNA

A high level meeting was held here Wednesday chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to review war against terrorism and restoration of law and order in NWFP.

The meeting decided that Chief of the Army Staff Ashfaq Pervez Kayani will be responsible for all military operations in tribal areas and to keep the government informed.

The meeting also decided that the Governor of NWFP in consultation with the Federal and provincial Governments, will remain responsible for planning, execution and coordination of a well, thorough, and comprehensive development plan in FATA.

The meeting unanimously agreed that elimination of terrorism and extremism is the gravest challenge to Pakistan's national security and in order to fight this menace a multi-pronged strategy will be needed to be followed.

The main thrust of Pakistan's policy to counter this challenge will be political engagement of the people through their elected representatives, tribal elders and local influentials.

The meeting was held to review progress on the war on terrorism and the law and order situation in NWFP.

It was attended by the Governor of the NWFP, Owais Ahmed Ghani, Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Foreign Affairs Hameedullah Jan Afridi, Minister for Environment Najamuddin Khan, Minister for SAFRON Mahmud Ali Durrani, Advisor to PM on National Security Rehman Malik, Advisor to PM on Interior, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of Army Staff and DG ISI.

It was agreed that in addition to the political instrument, large scale development, economic empowering and selective use of military force will be the other prongs of the strategy.

The meeting decided to ensure that local tribal customs, traditions and "Rivaj" are respected by all representatives of the government including the military and law enforcement agencies and stressed that all foreign fighters have to be expelled from Pakistan's territory.

The meeting decided that Pakistan will not allow its territory to be used against other countries, especially against Afghanistan and that under no circumstances will foreign troops be allowed to operate inside Pakistan - an obvious objection to US military strikes against Pakistani tribal regions.

All agreements with the tribes in FATA will be backed by a robust enforcement mechanism.

It was meanwhile decided that in case of non-compliance and violation of the agreement, the government will reserve the right to use force.

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