Islamabad, July 24 : The coalition partners in Pakistan's federal government have reportedly unanimously agreed not to tolerate any foreign attacks on the country's soil.
During a meeting lasting seven hours between the heads of the ruling parties at Prime Minister's House, the coalition partners said that no one would be allowed to use Pakistan's territory to stage terrorist attacks on foreign countries, and challenge the writ of state.
The meeting to review the security situation in the Tribal Areas, Swat and other NWFP areas was preceded by a briefing of security forces and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani.
Sources privy to the developments said that the security officials had informed the coalition heads that the situation in the northern areas was 'tense' because of a heavy militant presence. "The meeting agreed to allow paramilitary forces, in consultation with the army, full use of force. However, they were encouraged to try and avoid collateral damage," the Daily Times quoted them as saying.
Besides Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif, ANP president Asfandyar Wali, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, NWFP Governor Owais Ghani and Chief Minister Haider Khan Hoti, Information Minister Sherry Rehman, Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik, the COAS, Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt Gen Nadeem Taj and Intelligence Bureau Director General Shoaib Suddle attended the meeting. PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif was unable to attend the meeting because he is currently in London.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman told media after the meeting that the government should pursue dialogue to achieve peace in the Tribal Areas. "Foreign forces should also be told that national interests are supreme for Pakistan," he added.