Elimination of terrorism, extremism gravest challenge to Pakistan's national security

ID :
Thu, 06/26/2008 - 10:06

Elimination of terrorism, extremism gravest challenge to Pakistan's national security

Islamabad, June 26 PPI: The elimination of terrorism and extremism is ``gravest challenge'' to Pakistan's national security and a multi-pronged staretgy will be foloowed to fight this menace.

This was agreed at high level meeting chaired Wednesday by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani which reviewed progress on war on terror. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister and Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani were among those who attended.

The main thrust of Pakistan's policy to counter this challenge will be political
engagement of people through their elected representatives, tribal elders, local
influentials. In addition to political instrument, large scale development,
economic, empowerment and selective use of military force will be other prongs of

The broad objective is to bring peace, reconciliation and normalcy of life in the
country, marginalize hard core terrorist, militants, criminal elements, so that
Pakistan's national interest reigns supreme.

It was decided to ensure local tribal customs, traditions are respected by all
representatives of government, military, law enforcement agencies and ensure all
foreign fighters expelled from Pakistani territory.

Pakistan will not allow its territory to be used against other countries, especially
Afghanistan and under no circumstances will foreign troops be allowed to operate
inside Pakistan.

All agreements with tribal people in Federally Administered Tribal Areas FATA will
be backed by robust enforcement mechanism. In case of non-compliance and violation
of agreement, government will reserve right to use force. The political agreements
made with tribes are based on mutual respect, trust, expulsion of foreign fighters
will be responsibility of tribes and they will be held accountable for presence as
well as actions of all foreign fighters.

The tribes will also be responsible for stopping cross border movement for militancy
across the border from their areas. However this will require intimate coordination
between political and military, security prongs of effort. Tribesmen will not fight
or target Army, Frontier Corps and other law enforcing agencies in their areas. The
use of force by military will be justified if tribes act contrary to their

It was also decided that Army Chief will be Principal for application of military
effort, have authority to decide on quantum, composition and positioning of military
effort. The principle of use of minimum force, avoidance of collateral damage will
be kept in focus; initiate swift operations based on actionable intelligence to
eliminate terrorists, stop hostile movement across border for operations against
Coalition Forces in Afghanistan; decide on level of liaison, contact, cooperation
with ISAF in Afghanistan and keep government appropriately informed.