ISLAMABAD - Announcing a full-scale operation against the militants in Waziristan Agency, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said that the decision of operation was taken under a well-thought-out plan and expressed his determination to flush out these miscreants from the motherland.
"The operation will continue till the surrender or elimination of the miscreants," Asif said while talking to media and also in a press statement issued here on Sunday after the launch of the operation Zarb-i-Azb.
As a result of Saturday night's precise and targeted air strikes, 8 hideouts of terrorists in North Waziristan Agency were destroyed killing 105 terrorists, most of them Uzbek foreigners. As of now North Waziristan Agency has been isolated by deploying troops along its border with neighbouring agencies and FATA regions to block any move of terrorists in and out of the agency, informed the Defence Minister.
Meanwhile, sources in the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) informed that the government would likely to take the Parliament into confidence on the full-scale operation launched in Waziristan Agency.
The government would also inform the National Assembly the reasons of failure of talks with militants and how much laxity the regime had shown to make these parleys successful, the sources said.
To a question, Asif said that they have worked out a comprehensive security plan in collaboration with the provincial governments, as they are anticipating reaction of the operation in the settled areas of the country.
He said that the whole nation was standing with Armed Forces in this war and emphatically said that they would weed out the menace of terrorism from the country and come out victorious in this war on terror.
Kh. Asif said that the government was holding talks with militants for past several months and wanted to bring normalcy in the troubled areas through peaceful parleys but the militants had taken the peace initiative as weakness of the government and continued with their nefarious activities like slaying the throats of innocent civilians and personnel of law enforcement agencies.
To a question he said that the decision of operation was taken under a well thought out plan and all pros and cons were taken into consideration before going for their all out hunt for militants in restive tribal areas and sound confident of their victory.
To another question he said that the political parties had already given the mandate to the government to hold talks with militants and in case of failure option for military action was there, so the backing of the political parties is very much with the government.
Coming down hard on militants, Asif said that these miscreants had continued with their terrorist activities and made the lives of people miserable. Even schools, mosques and public places were not safe and they used to target common people.
Terming the operation need of the hour, the minister said, "we were frustrated with attacks on innocent Pakistanis and the damage caused to national assets."
Speaking high of the Armed Forces, Kh. Asif said that they would take this war to its logical.
Referring to the precise attacks carried out at the hideouts of militants in parts of North Waziristan, he termed it a big success and hoped that the operation would be stepped up in days to come.
To a question about the likely fallout of the operation in restive Tribal Areas in the major cities and towns of the country, Kh. Asif said that in coordination with the provincial governments they had already prepared security plans to frustrate their nefarious designs. Similarly, the coordination between the secret agencies with law enforcement departments was also enhanced to proactively check the movement of the militants in the settled areas, he added.
About the displacement of the people from the troubled areas, the Defence Minister said that they have already worked out a plan for accommodation of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the settled towns and cities adjacent to the troubled areas.
Meanwhile, sources aware of the developments taking place on this front informed that the ground forces had already moved in the troubled areas and had laid siege to Miran Shah and Mir Ali to track down the militants and general public residing in these areas were asked to vacate their houses so that operation against militants could be launched.
Similarly, the Afghan security officials deployed at Pak-Afghan border to beef up security and help check the movement of these militants who would definitely try to enter into Afghanistan to avoid military operation in North Waziristan Agency.