Malakand operation not conventional but 'guerilla war' with no time frame: Gilani

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Islamabad, May 10 (ANI): Terming the ongoing military operation in the Malakand Division in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) as "guerilla war", Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said no time frame could be set for the operation to be called-off.

"Terrorists have no religion and country and they would be dealt with sternly. The ongoing military operation is not a conventional but a guerilla war, so no timeframe can be set," Gilani said.

Addressing a press conference here, Gilani said the government had no choice but to resort to military action, as the Taliban had defied its writ in a bid to establish its own rule across the valley.

"Militants have refused to accept democracy, parliament and its institutions, which is rebellion. The government was left with no option but to take this extreme step," The Nation quoted Gilani, as saying.

He also refuted the notion that Islamabad had initiated the offensive under immense international pressure especially by the United States.

"It is our own war. It is for the survival of the country, and for the future of people," Gilani said.

Gilani asserted that all the political parties of the country were taken into confidence before starting the military operation.

He added that the cabinet has expressed resolve that there should be minimum collateral damage, and that the operation should be accomplished as soon as possible.

Gilani said the cabinet unanimously opined that the terrorists and militants had no religion and were not bothered about any boundaries.

"Therefore we have decided to contact the ulema to present a true perception of Islam," he added.

When enquired about the concerns being raised in the country over the transit trade deal with Afghanistan, which would allow India to use the Wagah-Khyber route for trade directly with Afghanistan, he said : " There is no need for any concern. We have taken care of everything." (ANI)

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