NWA operation under serious consideration: Rehman Malik


Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday said that the government is seriously considering a military operation in the tribal badlands of North Waziristan. Speaking to reporters upon his arrival at the Karachi airport, the interior minister said that the tribal region of North Waziristan Agency is the hub of terrorists. Malik said that the entire nation was united against the “Zaliman”, an Urdu term meaning “oppressors” which he used to describe Taliban militants. Malik said that the terrorists had not just attacked 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, but had attacked the entire nation.
He added that the government and military leadership will decide whether there is a need for an operation in North Waziristan. The US has long been calling on Pakistan to go after the deadliest Afghan insurgents, the Haqqani network, which is believed to be based in North Waziristan. Islamabad had voiced concerns when US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta disclosed that the Pakistani military was planning to start an operation against militants in North Waziristan, which invited strong criticism in Pakistan. Pakistan government and military has maintained that they will not be pushed into launching an operation in North Waziristan, and that troops will only be sent in once if and when the state feels the need.