Four of the nine terrorists involved in Thursday's attack on Kamra airbase in Punjab province had been identified, Malik said during an interaction with the media yesterday as he described the North and South Waziristan as a hotbed for criminals.
He claimed the attack had been foiled and all the terrorists were killed because of an advance warning about a possible attack on PAF installations.
The attackers had been trained in Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan and the raid "could be traced back to North and South Waziristan", he said.
The Taliban were harbouring criminals from all over the country and there is a need to trace the mastermind who sent the terrorists to Kamra, he added.
His hard comments about terrorists harbouring in Waziristan come as speculation mounted here about a military offensive in the offing in the region. Nine terrorists and two PAF personnel were killed during the attack.
A rocket-propelled grenade fired by the attackers damaged a Saab-2000 surveillance aircraft. The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out to avenge the killing of Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and Osama bin Laden.
Answering a question from reporters, Malik said no decision had been taken as yet about launching an operation against militants in North Waziristan. Such a decision will not be taken under foreign pressure, he said.