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Pakistan: Political leadership to decide on army operation in Waziristan Last Updated : 14 Oct 2012 03:17:01 PM IST Pakistan: Political leadership to decide on army operation in Waziristan
Pakistan army, which has vowed to eradicate terrorism after the Taliban attack on teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai, has said the political leadership will have to make a final decision on launching any operation against militants in the restive North Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
"This is a political decision to be taken by the appropriate people," chief military spokesman Maj Gen Asim Saleem told reporters, referring to the launch of any operation in North Waziristan.
The army had expressed its resolve more than once to eradicate terrorism after the near-fatal attack on Malala,Bajwa was quoted as saying by the media.
Speculation about an offensive against Taliban and al-Qaeda elements has increased following the public anger over the attempted assassination of the 14-year-old girl by the Taliban last week. Many observers believe the attack could help swing public opinion in favour of an operation against militants in North Waziristan.
The army has refused to launch any large-scale operation in the region despite considerable pressure from the US over the past few years.
After visiting Malala in hospital on Wednesday, Pakistan army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani warned that the attack on her had exposed the "extremist mindset" confronting the country and said the time had come for people to "fight the propagators of such barbaric mindset."
A day later, Pakistan's top military leadership said the armed forces were fully prepared to take on "upcoming challenges" faced by the country, triggering speculation that the army could be preparing for a crackdown on militants.
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf too said after visiting Malala in hospital that the time had come for Pakistani people to "stand together to uproot" terrorism from the country.The National Assembly or lower house of Parliament has passed a resolution saying it "resolves that until the establishment of peace in the great motherland, the rooting out of terrorists will continue."
In August, a Pakistani military official had acknowledged that "targeted actions" were being undertaken by the army against militants in North Waziristan as part of a campaign codenamed "Operation Tight Screw."This operation was an "ongoing process", the official had said.
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