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Rejecting speculation of talks with the Taliban, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Nov. 28 that the government of Pakistan will continue the fight to defeat violent extremism.
KARACHI — Rejecting speculation of talks with the Taliban, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Nov. 28 that his government would continue the fight to defeat the terrorists.
“The government has decided not to hold talks with terrorists and [military] operations will continue against them,” Malik said.
Pakistan’s leadership has already stated that the government will show extremists who are targeting both civilians and security personnel no leniency.
Militants captured by security forces have revealed that the residences of the president and prime minister in Islamabad are on their hit list, Malik said. Security has been tightened in Islamabad and other cities to counter the terrorist threat against major government offices and installations.
“After facing defeat in Swat, Malakand and South Waziristan, the Taliban are sending messages requesting talks with the government and a suspension of the military operation, but it is too late now,” Malik said.
Long before the current offensive began, the government asked Taliban fighters to give up their weapons and become peaceful citizens, but they did not take the offer seriously, Malik added. According to him, South Waziristan will be secure in a few days, as the military has taken control of major neighbourhoods. A search of the remaining villages, mountains and forests will soon be conducted to eliminate terrorists there.
“The military has vowed to crush violent extremists and talks with them are not possible,” said Maj. Gen. Ather Abbas, the director-general of the military’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) organisation, said on Nov. 28. “The military is strengthening its hold on the main towns and roads in South Waziristan. In the next few days, South Waziristan will be under complete control,” he added.
A statement issued by ISPR on Nov. 28 said that a special prayer for the unity, solidarity and sovereignty of Pakistan had been offered during Eid. Services were held at garrisons and individual commands, as Pakistan’s armed forces joined the nation for thanksgiving on the occasion.