Military pounds militant hideouts in Pakistan


PTI, Peshawar :
Pakistan army helicopter gunships on Thursday struck militant hideouts in Dera Ismail Khan and mountains bordering South Waziristan as part of the targeted attacks on the Taliban as peace talks remain suspended.
It was not immediately known how many militants were killed or wounded in Thursday’s strikes. The attack is the fifth in a series of air strikes that began last week.
While announcing the country’s maiden National Security Policy, interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, on Wednesday, had said that every terror attack would be met with a military strike on the headquarters of the militants. He said the decision to hit the militant hideouts was consistent with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statement that violence and dialogue cannot go side by side.
The PML-N government and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were in peace dialogue with each other to end the decade-long violence that has claimed nearly 40,000 lives.
But the government was forced to suspend the talks after the beheading of 23 Frontier Corps personnel who were in the custody of the Taliban since 2010.
The military has launched a wave of aerial strikes, using both fighter jets and combat helicopters, in the lawless tribal areas killing at least 100 terrorists since last week.
The interior minister has made it clear that stalled dialogue process will be resumed only after the end of terror activities from the other side. Army chief General Raheel Sharif had vowed to defeat “every threat” as per the aspirations of the people. He reiterated the resolve of armed forces and said in unequivocal terms that with the backing of the Nation, “we will accomplish our mission of defeating every threat to our motherland in accordance with the expectation of the people of Pakistan”, a statement released by the military here said.
Though there was no mention of the air strikes, analysts say the remarks of the army chief were linked to it.