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

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


June 02, 2011

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.

COMMENTS (11)

ghairatmand | 10 years ago | Reply "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 ?
S.G. Jilanee | 10 years ago | Reply 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.
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