Pakistan yet to decide on Waziristan offensive: Malik

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Islamabad, Sep. 28 (ANI): Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that Islamabad is yet to decide whether it should launch a full-scale military operation in Waziristan to clear Taliban militants from the tribal areas.

He, however, said that Pakistan would take necessary action to flush out the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), "the front face of al Qaeda."

"Let's not forget, it's not only the TTP which is operating there. There is also al Qaeda and proscribed organisations. We have broken the back of the Taliban but what about the main handler which is al Qaeda?" The Nation quoted Malik, as saying.

Pakistani military has been reluctant to send ground troops into the militants' stronghold in South Waziristan, where it is relying up on air strikes.

But Saturday's bomb attacks have put the onus on Islamabad to launch a full fledged ground offensive, the Taliban seems to be recovering from Baitullah Mehsud's death.

"We are very much doing our targeted action on Baitullah Mehsud's group. Whether we really need a real good big operation like Swat in North Waziristan, in South Waziristan, we are considering it and at the appropriate time we are going to take action," Malik said.

Experts say that ground offensive into Waziristan may cause heavy army casualties since it is larger and more inaccessible than Swat.

The army may also be running out of time before the winter snows make an offensive extremely hard, they added. (ANI)

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