ISLAMABAD: The government has authorised Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to take a final decision on when and how to launch a military operation in the North Waziristan tribal region, sources said.
A decision to this effect was taken at an important meeting at the Presidency on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and army chief General Kayani.
According to military sources, the trio discussed key issues, including a possible military operation in North Waziristan Agency, the border situation and internal and external threats to the country.
The meeting decided that it was for Islamabad to take a decision about launching a military operation in any part of the country. And that no external pressure would be accepted in this regard.
Apart from other issues, the trio also discussed the fluid security situation in the tribal regions and in Balochistan.
The meeting also took up the issue of increasing US drone strikes in tribal regions and reports in US media about possible expansion in the drone campaign. The trio decided that the US would not be allowed to expand drone attacks to any other part of the country.
A press release issued by the presidency says that the meeting was a part of the regular consultation process and it discussed security matters.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2010.