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Pak to take its own decision over opening new fronts against extremists: Qureshi

By Super Admin

Islamabad, Jan.29 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that Islamabad would itself decide as to when and how to expand the military operation in North Waziristan.

Responding to a question, Qureshi said that while the US drone attacks had helped to sanitise the lawless tribal region along the Afghan border, it is not necessary that the missile strikes be expanded to other regions as well.

Qureshi's remarks are in addition to the Pakistan Army's stand not to open any new fronts against the extremists in the coming months.

Cold-shouldering US demands of doing more against extremists in the tribal region, the Pakistan Army had made it clear that it would not initiate any new offensive against the militants until it fully secures and stabilizes South Waziristan and other troubled regions.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Athar Abbas had said that the military would not launch any new offensive against terrorists for six months to a year to give itself time to consolidate existing gains.

"We are not talking years. Six months to a year would be needed before Pakistan could stabilise existing gains and expand any operations. We are not in a position to get overstretched," Abbas had said.

Pakistan's stance is likely to upset Washington, which has been pressurising Islamabad to take stern action against banned terrorist outfits having their base inside the country.

Qureshi also said that if the Taliban extremists are prepared to lay down arms to work under the Afghan constitution, then there is no harm in starting a dialogue with them, The Dawn reported. (ANI)

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