Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the military offensive against Taliban in the restive South Waziristan tribal region would continue and that he could not provide a timeframe for completing it, hours after declaring that it has ended.
Mr. Gilani initially said in Lahore on Saturday that the offensive against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in South Waziristan “has ended” and there was now “talk of (an operation) in Orakzai region“.
Hours later, the Prime Minister told the media in Karachi that the operation in South Waziristan would continue.
“This operation has continued with great success and the strongholds of militants have been captured and a large quantity of weapons and ammunition has been recovered,” he said, adding he could not give a timeframe for completing the offensive.
If somebody had gained the impression that the military operation would be concluded, “it could have been in a different context,” Mr. Gilani said. The government would chase militants wherever they take refuge.
“We will take military action wherever we get information about the presence of militants,” he said.
The military says about 600 militants and over 60 soldiers have died in fighting in Waziristan since a campaign was launched there against the Taliban in October. Troops have secured most Taliban strongholds in the region but top militant leaders continue to be at large.