Offensive in north waziristan – Foreign pressure unacceptable: FO


ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Thursday said it would not accept any foreign pressure for launching a military offensive against the Al Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants in North Waziristan, which the United States believes has become the hub of global terrorism.
“Washington knows our position, our viewpoint on full-scale operations in North Waziristan very well and we will move ahead at a time of our own choosing,” Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said while addressing his weekly press briefing. He was asked for his reaction to media reports in the wake of US Vice President Joseph Biden’s visit to Islamabad on Wednesday that talked about renewed pressure from the US on Pakistan to launch a military offensive in North Waziristan without any further delay.
Biden had said Al Qaeda leaders were holed up in the Tribal Areas while the top American military official, Admiral Mike Mullen has called for speedy military action in North Waziristan. Basit said, “We are moving ahead methodically and firmly keeping in view our strategic objectives and tactical gains.”
He said Pakistan would not allow any great game to be played out in Afghanistan, which had been a victim of power play for decades for global and regional interests. He said Pakistan wanted peace and tranquility in the region and was firmly committed to Afghanistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The FO spokesman once again asked India to share at the earliest investigations into the Samjhota Express terrorist attack, saying the probe by New Delhi was moving at a snail’s pace. On Pope Benedict’s remarks on the blasphemy law, he said the prime minister had already made it clear that there was no move to repeal the law.