Exit strategy: Govt is not fond of military action, says Gilani

Published: June 2, 2011

PM says government will not take dictation from anybody about N Waziristan.

ISLAMABAD: The government is not fond of military action and wants to have an exit strategy, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Wednesday.

The government, he said, was not taking dictation from anybody, “but it will take action when its writ is challenged [in North Waziristan]”. “We will decide if there is any need for [an operation in North Waziristan.] We will not meddle unnecessarily,” the premier said.

Speaking in a programme on the state-run Pakistan Television, Prime Minister Gilani said the government is ready to hold dialogue with militants if they disband their outfits and surrender their weapons before political agents in their respective areas

“But if the [militants] challenge the government’s writ, target innocent people and attack cities, public property, installations, police stations and railways, the government will take action against them,” he added.

According to him, the government was following a policy of dialogue, development and deterrence to bring the militants into the national mainstream.

About the level of trust deficit between Pakistan and US after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Pakistan, the prime minister said that both the countries have strategic partnership, adding, “there are ups and down in our relations”.

Highlighting the government’s determination to take action against terrorists, he said that the government would not allow anyone to use the country’s soil for acts of terrorism. Action, he said, would be taken against foreigners who “are living uninvited in the country”.

“We will free Pakistan of terrorism,” he said, adding it was not in the national interest to “have sympathy for Osama bin Laden”, who was responsible for the deaths of 36,000 Pakistani citizens, 5,000 soldiers.

Answering a question, the prime minister said that the country’s armed forces, federal and provincial governments, intelligence agencies and police “are collectively responsible for…protecting the life and property of the people”.

The government, he said, was working to chalk out a “comprehensive strategy” to pre-empt acts of terrorism and provide fool-proof security.

The Prime Minister said the Mehran Naval base incident was a matter of concern for everybody. Gilani said that a departmental inquiry into the incident was under way and a joint investigation team had also been constituted.

He said that during the meeting of the defence committee of the cabinet, the naval chief had called for the formation of an independent commission, which could be formed after necessary consultation.

Urging people to avoid targeting any particular institution or country before the completion of the investigation, he said: “We should not jump to the conclusion.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2011.

Reader Comments (11)

  • Salman Zafar
    Jun 2, 2011 - 10:06AM

    Comparatively sensible statement. Though very rare from prime minister.Recommend

  • Nisar Husain
    Jun 2, 2011 - 10:14AM

    It appears the prime minister is not aware of the fact that north waziristan is already under terrorist occupation since the last several years and the terrorists has been using it as a base to carry out terrorist attacks within pakistan as well as across the border.An operation to free the area from militants control should have been launched a long time back by the government on its own and not on american insistence as is being done now.The government must launch an operation in waziristan at the earliest so that the back of the militants is broken before they cause more damage to the country.Recommend

  • Thinking
    Jun 2, 2011 - 10:38AM

    What Gilani is saying is “We have no guts to do anything and unless billions of dollars are dangled in front of us, we will do nothing and sit in our heavily guarded houses and/or travel to Europe and Dubai while Pakistan goes down in flames.”Recommend

  • Chilli
    Jun 2, 2011 - 10:39AM

    Expect another U turn very soon..Recommend

  • 3footninja
    Jun 2, 2011 - 11:29AM

    The puppet finally speaks:
    “The government was not taking dictation from anybody…”
    but forgot to complete his sentence with:
    “… except for our masters in the U.S.”Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Jun 2, 2011 - 12:25PM

    What about action the against Pak Taleban who is hiding in the safe havens of NWA and mounting attacks on Pakistan ?Recommend

  • H
    Jun 2, 2011 - 12:39PM

    I seriously think we are going on the wrong direction.

    What we need the MOST is education and economic development. That is the ROOT CAUSE of every problem. An operation of any kind will not solve any problem, if these people are educated properly and have a good future ahead of them, why would they indulge in these things. Why isnt anything being done for these 2 MOST essential things. We as people are also on the wrong track !Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:27PM

    @H:
    Education and Economic development does not come without Safety and Security !!
    The Govt of pakistan has yet to show any Appitude in these departments, since coming to Power, and rest of the World is beginning to loose interest in Pakistan !!!
    As Pakistan does not seem to want to change or improve basic lives of its own People.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2011 - 2:48PM

    @H:
    Maybe they are important. But, what use are they if there are people ready and willing to destroy every single place where this education and economic progress would take place?Recommend

  • S.G. Jilanee
    Jun 2, 2011 - 9:08PM

    Why in the first place the Taliban turn against the government? Who fired the first shot? And is perpetual war the answer? Has any war ever settled any issue? Pakistanis fight and kill one another while the world chuckles. Recommend

  • ghairatmand
    Jun 3, 2011 - 12:01AM

    “not in the national interest to “have sympathy for Osama bin Laden”, who was responsible for the deaths of 36,000 Pakistani citizens, 5,000 soldiers.”
    Dear Mr Prime Minister. It was not the OBL, but a faction called TTP, war with Afghan terrorist and war on terror combined which killed your citizens and soldiers. How many attacks in Pakistan were done by OBL’s Al Qaeda ? You are being opportunist to blame everything happening in your country to foreign power. Reflects the common habit of the nation when the leader himself believes and practices in blame the others game. Why are you embarrassed to blame the TTP which had been regularly killing your citizens ? Just because they are Pakistani terrorists ?Recommend

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