Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly Faisal Karim Kundi on Tuesday said that a military operation in North Waziristan was not the solution, and that the conflict needed to be solved via negotiations, BBC Urdu reported.
The operation will only be carried out after a consensus between the army and civilian leadership and the final decision will be taken by the government, Kundi told BBC Urdu during an interview at the Parliament House in Islamabad.
Kundi said the decision to go ahead with an operation was a “difficult one” and a joint session of parliament would be conducted during which all parties will be taken on board.
When asked if a consensus seemed unlikely following the PML-N’s opposition regarding an operation, Kundi said some of the opposition party’s proposed amendments had been accepted by the government.
He added the resolution was tabled to show parliament was not indifferent to the issue and its purpose was not to start a militancy-cleansing operation immediately.
Kundi stressed an operation against the country’s own people was always a difficult choice to make, with many quarters likely to react strongly to such an idea.
He rubbished speculations that the government was powerless in dealing with the militants and stressed that he supported the idea of holding talks with insurgents to avoid civilian casualties. “Whenever the so-called [extremists] are targeted, twenty to thirty innocent people are also killed. That is why we support dialogue,” Kundi said. “This, however, does not mean the militants will be dealt with softly.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2012.