Pak Punjab Govt. has 'woken up' to terror threat: Qureshi

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Istanbul, Jun.9 (ANI): Admitting that the Punjab government was living in a state of denial over the ever expanding terror threat, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that the provincial government has now 'woken up' to the ground realities.

Talking to media persons on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence building measures in Asia (CICA) here, Qureshi said the recent terror strikes in Punjab had served as a big jolt for the local administration, following which they now admit that terrorists are trying to regroup in the region.

"I think some major incidents have taken place in Lahore and woken the Punjab government up. I think they are coming out of the denial that they were living in," The News quoted Qureshi, as saying.

Responding to a question, he said the Pakistan government's next priority in the fight against Taliban is the volatile tribal region of North Waziristan, and that the security forces were moving towards the troubled region in a "calculated fashion."

"Our next priority is going to be North Waziristan but we have to time our operations in line with our resources. At the moment we are consolidating our position in South Waziristan," Qureshi said.

During his stay in Istanbul, Qureshi also met his Afghan counterpart Dr. Zalwai Rassoul, and when asked whether India's presence in Afghanistan was still worrying Islamabad, he maintained that New Delhi's greater role would remain an issue for his country.

"The security challenges that Afghanistan faces can be helped more by Pakistan than India can help them. So, I think that an exaggerated presence would not be in order," Qureshi said. (ANI)

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