'Govt to decide timeline of N Waziristan operation'

Foreig­n Minist­er Shah Mehmoo­d Quresh­i has said that more than 34,000 troops have reache­d North Waziri­stan.

Agencies October 25, 2010

LAHORE: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that more than 34, 000 troops have been deployed in the North Waziristan tribal region and it is now for the government to decide the timeline of the operation in the area.

This comes amid mounting US pressure on Islamabad to move swiftly against Taliban sanctuaries to help turn around the war in Afghanistan.

Briefing journalists in Lahore about the just-concluded Pakistan-US Strategic Dialogue on Sunday, Qureshi said the three-day talks focused on 13 main issues. He described the talks as “successful, progressive and fruitful” which helped improve relations between the two close allies in the “war on terror”.

Qureshi said Pakistan has always been submissive before the US but the bilateral relations are changing their dimension, with Islamabad now negotiating on its terms. He said the $7.5 billion grant pledged by the US will be utilised for the country’s development. He added that the $2.29 billion military aid announced by the US was “not a credit, but a grant for Pakistan”. -Qureshi said Pakistan’s request for a civil nuclear cooperation deal with the US was also reviewed in the talks. He added Pakistan has 35 years of experience with no untoward incident ever regarding its nuclear technology, qualifying it for civil nuclear technology transfer from the US. “Pakistan has the technology as well as technicians and can run civil nuclear programme efficiently,” he said.

Qureshi said the energy sector was on top of the agenda in the 13 sectors discussed during the strategic dialogues.

To a query regarding the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, he said the matter was not taken up at the dialogue and added that Pakistan had entered into the deal with Tehran keeping in view its energy needs.

About the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan, Qureshi said Pakistan was looking beyond terrorism and the government had started promote people-to-people contacts with other ethnic groups in the country, including Hazaras and Tajiks. “As far as Afghanistan is concerned, Pakistan and the US have convergence of interests and both want a peaceful and stable Afghanistan,” he said.

Qureshi said Kashmir was on the agenda during the strategic dialogues, adding that the government made the US realise that no viable peace was possible in the region without the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

He said Pakistan wanted cordial relations with India and the resolution of Kashmir issue was also in the Indian interest.

The foreign minister confirmed that the fourth round of the strategic dialogue between the two countries is scheduled for 2011 in Islamabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2010.


Natasha Suleman | 12 years ago | Reply If it were for the 'government' there would be no operation at all. Syed Nadir, Aren't they all 'terrorists' according to a huge chunk of tribune readers? Whoever dies in a drone attack IS a terrorist - No mercy :)
Fiaz | 12 years ago | Reply This means that the order has to be received from Masters and then it will be executed on our own citizens. US will pay money and our politicians are like wives listen to them. Wives get money and spend it and enjoy life.
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read