KARACHI - Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday said that the government is seriously considering launching 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.
Malik said President Asif Ali Zardari has been taking personal interest in Malala Yousafzai’s treatment and has directed for using all available options for her earliest recovery.
Malik said he had called on President Zardari on Thursday in Islamabad to brief him about the efforts being made for the recovery of Miss Malala Yousafzai and the future treatment plan, which includes her possible shifting abroad.
The President, he said, directed that an air ambulance and a team of doctors should be ready for Malala’s treatment abroad, if needed.
He said that a team of senior of Combined Military Hospital (CMH) was doing their best for her recovery. Two famous foreign neurosurgeons will also be hired, who can accompany Malala abroad, if required, he added.
“Our neurosurgeons are ready to go with Miss Malala abroad on their own expenses,” he added. Malik said Malala had been put on ventilator for 36 hours and appealed to the nation to pray for her quick recovery. It is not the case of a girl, Malala, but of the entire nation, he added.
Malik hoped that the people throughout the country would support the government’s efforts to eliminate terrorism and ensure peace and security for all.
Replying to a query, he said the government would provide full security to Malala against the threats to her life. The government had earlier offered her security cover sensing possible risk to her life but her family declined, he added.
He said Malala was a very courageous girl, who struggled for the rights of girls and promotion of education among them, including those residing in the tribal areas.
Answering another question, the Interior Minister said that federal law enforcing agencies had hinted at the entry of four persons from Afghanistan to Waziristan on some secret mission five days ago.
When his attention was drawn to the law and order situation in Karachi, Malik strongly condemned the killing of innocent people. He said that the Sindh government was taking measures to stop the killings.
“ The Sindh government is making the best use of its available resources to curb crime,” he remarked.
He said that after the 18th Constitutional Amendment, law and order had solely become a provincial subject. However, he added, the Federal Government was extending cooperation and back-up support to the Sindh government to ensure peace and security.