Gilani hails Pak military success against Taliban, vows to restore 1973 Constitution

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Islamabad, Aug.19 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday hailed the military's success against the Taliban and also vowed to restore the 1973 Constitution.

"Terrorism and extremism are eating at Pakistan like termites. Our brave military fought the terrorists, they were martyred also, and with the blessings of Allah we achieved success," Gilani said in a speech that was broadcast live on television from Faisalabad.

Pakistan launched a military operation in the northwest districts of Buner, Lower Dir and Swat after the Taliban had advanced to within 100 kilometres of Islamabad last April, violating a September 2007 peace deal.

After declaring these districts cleared of the Taliban last month, the military has turned its attention to the tribal belt along the Afghan border.

Analysts have said that the Taliban is in disarray after the reported death of Tehreek-e-Talibani Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud by a drone strike.

Gilani also laid the foundation stone of the Multan Motorway M-4, and said the people of Pakistan had voted last year in favour of democracy, and therefore, it was the responsibility of the present government to restore the Pakistan Constitution of 1973.

Talking about the menace of terrorism, he said that unless it was eliminated the Pakistan economy could not improve. Credit for the success of the military operation in the NWFP should go to the people, he said.

He also spoke about the various other problems facing the country, including the power crisis and the sugar crisis, both of which would be brought under control soon.

A reference to former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was also made during his speech. He said that Bhutto's sacrifices had resulted in the restoration of democracy in Pakistan.

Now, he said, was a time to strengthen the institutions of the country.

Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, Senior Provincial Minister Raja Riaz and others were also present on the occasion. (ANI)

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