Pakistan to expand its ‘war on terror’ into Al-Qaeda’s strongholdMay 17th, 2009 - 1:22 pm ICT by ANI
London, May 17 (ANI): After announcing an ‘all out war’ against the Taliban and other extremists in the Swat Valley, and claiming to have sanitized scores of militants in the region, Pakistan is planning to extend its war to the lawless bastion of Al-Qaeda where Osama bin Laden is supposedly hiding.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the Swat offensive would be extended to Waziristan, and areas close to the tribal regions along the Afghanistan border.
“We’re going to go into Waziristan, all these regions, with army operations.Swat is just the start. It’s a larger war to fight,” The Times Online quoted Zardari, as saying.
Admitting that Pakistan was going through its worst crises since its inception, Zardari said the country needs massive support from the international community.
“Pakistan would need billions of pounds in military assistance and aid for up to 1.7million refugees, the biggest movement of people since the country’s split from India in 1947,” he said.
Referring to the military assistance of one billion dollars which Pakistan is receiving at present, Zardari said the country needed much more financial and humanitarian support.
“We need to develop our capability and we need much more support. We need much, much more than the 1 billion dollars military aid we’ve been getting, which is nothing. We’ve got 150,000 troops in the tribal areas just the movement of that number would cost 1 billion dollars.”
The Pakistan army is planning to break into Waziristan and Darra Adam Khel region.
Waziristan is the headquarters of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan which is led by Baitullah Mehsud.
Zardari also highlighted the need to relocate the thousands of displaced people in order to build trust among them.
“If we don’t they will turn against the government and we will lose the impetus we’ve managed to create in the country against the Taliban,” he added.
The Pakistani army has claimed to have killed more than 750 militants in the last two weeks when the operation was started. However, it has not been able to back its claims with any substantial proof.
It has also failed to disclose the as to what happened to the Taliban’s Swat chapter leader Maulana Fazlullah, commonly known as Radio Mullah. (ANI)
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