Lahore, June 30 : Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that foreign elements hailing from Central Asian Republics (CAR) were behind the current unrest and spike in violence in the tribal belt, and that his government was adopting a three-pronged strategy, viz. political dialogue, development in the region and use of force as a last resort, to counter militancy in these restive areas.
"Our priority is to resolve the tribal issue through political dialogue and development of the area and the last option is the use of force to ensure government's writ in the Tribal Areas," the Daily Times quoted Gilani as saying.
He added that the media's role was pivotal in keeping the country calm and informed during such critical times.
Dismissing foreign pressure and involvement in the crackdown on militants in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the premier said that this was a provincial matter and the federal government acted on the invitation and advice of the province.
The prime minister said that the NWFP provincial government had concluded a peace deal with tribal chiefs but they violated the agreement by hanging people publicly, kidnapping members of minority and by setting girls' schools on fire.
"No government can afford a parallel government and we will never compromise the country's sovereignty, dignity and self-respect," Gilani said at a press conference.