Govt orders operation against Baitullah Mehsud -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Govt orders operation against Baitullah Mehsud

* NWFP governor says ‘decisive operation will root out terrorism from Pakistan’
* Says Mehsud tribes turned a deaf ear to warnings
* Says Baitullah behind attacks in Pakistan

By Zulfiqar Ghuman

ISLAMABAD: As a military offensive rages on against the Taliban in Malakand and Swat, the government on Sunday ordered a “full-fledged” military operation against Tehreek-e-Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud and Mehsud tribes for harbouring terrorists, abetting terrorist activities and killing innocent people.

“Law-enforcement agencies have been ordered to launch a comprehensive operation against Mehsud tribes and the TTP chief and his followers for their failure to fulfil their duties in accordance with the law of the land,” said NFWP Governor Awais Ghani at a press conference at Frontier House, but did not provide a date for the launch of the operation. The Online news agency claimed the operation would follow the offensive in Malakand.

He said “this would be an affective and decisive operation that would root out terrorism from Pakistan “.

The military has already moved closer to Waziristan agencies with operations underway in adjoining districts.

The governor said that TTP chief Meshud had been named in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. “He (Baitullah) was also behind the October 18 attack on a PPP caravan in Karachi and several other attacks.”

The decision to launch the operation against Mehsud tribes had been made to “protect the lives and properties of the people of Pakistan from the barbaric terrorists of Mehsud tribes”.

“Mehsud tribes were told time and again that their activities are unacceptable,” he said.

Ghani said Mehsud tribes had not only failed to evict foreign terrorists from their areas, but had also continued operating training camps.

“There are a large number of foreign terrorists in the areas. They are getting help from outside,” he said in a reference to Afghanistan.

He said that Mehsud tribes were bound by tradition and law not to shelter any terrorists or criminals, but “they acted otherwise … forcing the government to take action”.

Source: Daily Times

Date:6/15/2009