Al-Qaeda: Pakistan officials goes into a huddle

Terrorism in Pakistan
Islamabad, Jun 14: In what could be a prelude to a possible operation in North Waziristan against the al-Qaeda militants holed up there, Pakistani military commanders have met with the President as well as the Prime Minister, a move termed by a leading daily here as "far from routine".

Pakistan's armed forces has also sought the government's support on a number of issues during the meeting held against the backdrop of increasing domestic and international criticism of the military.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani met the entire military leadership, including powerful army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, in the presidency yesterday to discuss the "security situation", an official statement said.

However, the meeting was "far from routine" and discussed the political and security implications of a possible military operation in North Waziristan tribal region as is being demanded by the US, The Express Tribune newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

The chiefs of the armed forces asked the civilian leadership to take up the possible operation in parliament, similar to the effort made when a campaign was launched in the restive Swat valley two years ago.

The meeting also discussed the political, monetary and security implications of such an operation, the report said.

Following the May 2 US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad, the US has pressured Pakistan to launch an operation in North Waziristan Agency, described by Washington as a safe haven for Taliban and al-Qaeda elements that carry out cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.


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