Zardari claims strategy to combat militancy in FATA worked out

July 22nd, 2008 - 12:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Benazir Bhutto

Islamabad , July 22 (ANI): The ruling federal coalition in Pakistan has worked out a strategy to combat militancy and terrorism in tribal areas, said PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

Talking to a delegation of PPP MNAs from NWFP at the Zardari House last evening, he said that the crisis in FATA was political, and not military.

He asked the legislators to visit their constituencies and explain the governments anti-terror strategy to party workers.

According to a handout issued by the PPPs media centre, Zardari said that the main plank of the PPPs FATA policy was political engagement, massive socio-economic development and use of force if required to restore the writ of the state.

Zardari said FATA continued to remain backward and there was a need to integrate it into the mainstream of national politics in such a way that traditions and customs of its people were not violated. Dictators had sheltered terrorists and fed resentment and radicalism. Due to the Afghan war in the days of dictatorship, some elements in intelligence apparatus had developed linkages with militants, the Dawn quoted him as saying.

The PPP Co-chairman further said that in order to bring FATA into mainstream national politics, former premier and his wife Benazir Bhutto had moved the Supreme Court to extend the Political Parties Act to the tribal areas. This was necessary because religious parties used mosques to spread their political aims and the mainstream democratic parties were barred from presenting an alternative view, Zardari said.

The PPP co-chairman said that attempts to reform FATA and its people only through military operation had increased the number of extremists and militants and it was time to undertake a social operation that was integral to the social norms. (ANI)

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