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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistani minister confirms Taliban attacks plan on media outlets

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Oct 16, IRNA -- Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik here Monday confirmed reports that Taliban have chalked out a plan to target Pakistan's media outlets following militants’ attack on a 14-year old school girl.

Talking to reporters in Islamabad he said that the Taliban leadership has tasked three militants, including one Nadeem Abbas alias Entezami, to carry out attacks on the media offices and some TV anchors.

He said that the intelligence agencies are working to attain sensitive details about the plan, adding that security will be provided for the media houses in major cities.

About the possibility of military operation in North Waziristan tribal region, he said there is no plan as yet to launch the military offensive in the region. He also said that in Karachi as of last week a plan to conduct operation in North Waziristan has been under consideration but he now says that no such proposal was “under consideration at the moment.”

Malik said that whenever an operation is planned in North Waziristan, the military and the civil leadership will take the decision together. “What matters the most is the opinion of the military commanders on ground. Without their opinion, no such operation will take place.”

He added that if a decision in this regard is taken then it will be made public, saying that the “charm of democracy is that every decision that the government takes comes before the public.”

Responding to a question regarding exposing the militants behind an attack on child activist Malala Yousufzai, he said that it was already revealed that the conspiracy to attack her was hatched by the Taliban stationed at the Pak-Afghan border.

“We have the names of the suspect, but we want to reveal who ‘actually’ carried out the attack, I repeat, who ‘actually’ carried out the attack,” he said.

The interior minister said that although Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan had claimed the responsibility for the attack, it was uncertain which faction he spoke for.

“The Taliban have dispersed in many splinter groups. The question arises, if he spoke on behalf of Hakimullah Mehsud, because it has been approximately two months and 11 days that he has been unseen. He should disclose whether he is injured, is ill, or has just escaped somewhere.”

Malik said that it now appears as if the Taliban have “become leaderless and have divided ranks among themselves and are carrying out these attacks.”

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Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80372308



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