Pak Army kick starts offensive against Taliban in South Waziristan

      Following the go-ahead received from the government, the Pakistani security forces have started their offensive in South Waziristan, which is considered a stronghold of the Taliban. Pakistani Air Force pounded militant hideouts in Ladha and Sarokai tehsil as ground troops started advancing in different parts of the region. Large numbers of people have left the region fearing an intense battle between the military and the extremists. Hordes of people have started arriving in Peshawar , Bannu and North Waziristan . Meanwhile, extremists attacked a military convoy in Kalkola area near Jandola in which a security personnel was killed and three others were wounded. Earlier, Pakistan Army Chief, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, briefed members of the PPP-led ruling coalition about the Waziristan military offensive. The briefing took place at Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's house. According to the report, members of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the Awami National Party (ANP), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Jamiatulema-i-Islam – Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F) were present in the meeting. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Information Minister Qamruzzaman Kaira, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha and all the Chief Ministers were also reportedly present at the briefing. General Kayani is also expected to update the ruling coalition members about the overall security situation in the country. A statement issued after the meeting said the political leadership pointed out that there was already a consensus across the country that extremism and militancy must be rooted out and the writ of the state be restored. “The recent upsurge of terror incidents in the country was condemned and it was agreed that these elements pose a serious threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the state,” the statement said.

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