Pakistan to expand military operation to other tribal agency

By Amena Khokhar, KUNA,

Islamabad : While the opposition is continuously ringing bells regarding government’s anti-terrorism strategy and demanding end to the ongoing military operations, the action is expected to be expanded to another tribal agency, which has been the target of US unilateral missile attacks for last several months.

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Currently, the military is conducting operations in Bajaur tribal agency and Sawat district. The operations on Wednesday killed 15 paramilitary troopers and several militants.

The military is soon likely to launch fresh operation in the Waziristan region, consisting of North and South tribal agencies, tribal sources told KUNA.

The sources said while efforts were made by the government to form tribal Lashkar to fight militants, tribes, particularly in the North Waziristan tribal agency, have refused to be part of the decision.

They feared the strategy is meant to create divisions among the tribal people and urged the government to do what is its duty. It may be mentioned here that the North Waziristan region has been the main target of United States’ air strikes since September that have killed more than 50 militants and civilians.

A wanted Al-Qaeda militant was killed in a fresh air strike early Thursday morning along with seven other militants.

Sources admitting the presence of foreign elements of Arab, Uzbek, Afghan and Chechen origins in North Waziristan region said that the Arab militants have been the main target of Allied Forces’ attacks. Meanwhile, opposition during the in-camera joint session of the parliament demanded the government to end all ongoing military operations and sought new anti-terrorism policy.

Nawaz Sharif, chief of main opposition party Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), has put forth six proposals on anti-terror war in a letter to the Prime Minister, depicting grim picture of the state of affairs in the country.

He has suggested formation of a parliamentary committee to oversee efforts in fighting terrorism and militancy, adopt a policy based on comprehensive dialogue with all stakeholders, restoration of governance in the tribal areas and other economic uplift plans.