Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pak military has the capability, capacity to crush insurgency in Swat, adjoining areas: Masood Khan

The Pakistan army has the capacity and capability to protect the sovereignty, independence of its mother land as well as to crush the threat of terrorism, said Ambassador Masood Khan in a television interview here. Participating at CCTV Asia Today’s programme on Monday, while responding to a question, he made it clear that it is wrong to say that we have succeeded to recapture the Swat valley or Malakand areas. In fact, the valley and all parts of the region were always with us. What the army did was to confront the elements who had challenged the writ of the state.
“As the defiance from militants became too aggressive, too outrageous, the government decided to send army into these areas to flush them out”, he said.

Khan said that local government had a peace agreement with the militants, but they defied it. As a last resort it was decided to take them out as well as to dismantle the apparatus that was supporting them.

“We are determined to eliminate militants from our soil to ensure peace and stability” as these outlaws were posing threat not only to Pakistan, but to the entire neighborhood.

Regarding continuous bomb attacks by militants, in spite of the fact that army is achieving successes in Swat valley, Khan said these acts on the part of militants were in retaliation to the army operation.

“Militants are targeting civilians and government institutions. Our security forces are vigilant. Security arrangement has been strengthened”, he said.

He said that government is working on 3-pronged strategy to face the threat of militancy: anti-militancy operation; humanitarian relief for the internally displaced persons; and win over the moderate but misguided elements who were supporting the Taliban.

On displaced persons, he said that the figure of IDP had reached a staggering 3.3million and was growing.

However, Khan said, Pakistan is determined to provide food, shelter, health, education and to meet their daily needs, but it was so massive, that my country could not manage it by its own resources, therefore Pakistan had asked the international community for help.

In this regard, he specially mentioned the Chinese government and the people for coming forward in a big way to elevate the suffering of the IDPS.

He said that to meet by our own resources, the Pakistan Embassy here had also organized a Meena Bazaar Fundraiser on Sunday, and the Chinese as well as member of the international community participated in it in a big way.

The anchor person of the programme Zhou meanwhile said that Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has expressed the resolve to flush these elements which is a good sign for Pakistan .

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