Zardari praises soldiers: Operation to continue till militants eliminated
By Syed Irfan Raza
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Monday that the military operation in Malakand division would continue till the elimination of militants.
“Either the militants have to lay down arms, give up militancy and accept state’s authority or they have to be exterminated. Let there be no doubt or mistake about it,” said the president while addressing MNAs and Senators of the Pakistan People’s Party.
His spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the president paid tribute to soldiers and personnel of law-enforcement agencies for their courage and heroism.
The president praised the internally displaced persons for rendering a great sacrifice for the cause of the country.
“I assure speedy return of displaced people and their rehabilitation,” he said.
The president said: “Success in the war against militancy was due to the valour of our forces on the one hand and the sagacity and wisdom of parliament and political parties on the other for lending political support to it.”
Talking about proposed constitutional amendments and repealing of the controversial 17th amendment that gives undemocratic powers to the president, he said the party was keen to democratise the Constitution by removing anti- democratic clauses.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and a number of federal ministers also attended the meeting.The president said the party believed that the strength of the federation lay in the supremacy of parliament and the empowering of the federating units.
He said that a 27-member parliamentary committee had been set up comprising representatives of political parties and federating units to make recommendations for amendments to articles which had robbed the Constitution of its parliamentary character.
The president congratulated the prime minister and members of parliament on the smooth passage of the budget which he said was a great achievement.
The president spoke about the measures taken for poverty alleviation through the Benazir Income Support Programme and the measures taken to end loadshedding in the country.