PPP says all parties were taken into confidence over Swat offensive

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Islamabad, May 16 (ANI): Pakistan's Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Babar Awan has told the National Assembly that all political parties were taken into confidence over the Swat offensive.

"It was also the unanimous voice of media and the civil society to eliminate elements of terrorism," The Nation quoted Awan, as saying.

Urging political leaders to shun their double standards, Awan said, "Government was criticized over striking Swat peace agreement, and now, we are being criticized over Swat operation."

He said the government is still open to talking to the Taliban provided they laid down their arms and relinquished violence.

"Tell me to which cave, mountain and the tree we go to hold talks with militants," he asked.

Earlier, PPP lawmaker Yasmeen Rehman said the country is facing a great threat from militants and that the present situation was like a "state of emergency." She said that the post-operation situation and the handling of IDPs would be an uphill task for the government, which needed a prudent policy by the government.

PML-Q Riaz Hussain Pirzada expressed his support for the military offensive in the NA.

"I support the government's decision of military operation in Swat and stern action should be taken against people who are challenging writ of the state," he said.

PML-Q MNA Khwaja Sheraz Mehmood said that the government should have taken this decision earlier, and if the operation failed to achieve desired results, it would have negative effects.

Another PML-N MNA Dr Darshan criticized the government for summoning the NA session after making a decision to launch operation and asked all the political parties to strengthen hands of the government. (ANI)

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