ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will decide when to launch a military offensive against militants in North Waziristan keeping in view ground realities and disregard any pressure on this issue, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani concurred on Friday.
Expressing satisfaction over the outcome of the third round of Pakistan-US strategic dialogue, they pledged to promote durable and long lasting relations with the US while keeping its sovereignty and national dignity intact.
The issue of military operation in North Waziristan and other matters like domestic security situation were discussed in a meeting held under President Zardari. The meeting was also participated by Prime Minister Gilani, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Querashi.
According to the presidential spokesperson, the outcome of the third round of Pakistan-US strategic dialogue, held in Washington between October 20 and October 22, were reviewed and the regional situation was also discussed.
Official sources said that the foreign minister and the COAS told the president and the prime minister that important breakthroughs had been made in the strategic dialogue — Pakistan succeeded in getting more US aid for its defence, social and economic sectors.
Sources also reported the COAS telling the other participants that there were more than 70,000 security forces deployed in the North Waziristan, conducting targeted operations against terrorists.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2010.