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A government leader says, Army will not be withdrawn from SWA
February 17, 2014
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ISLAMABAD: A top government leader has said that Pakistan Army will not be withdrawn from South Waziristan Agency (SWA) or any part of the tribal belt as demanded by the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

He added, “Such withdrawal will amount to surrender of a territory to the Taliban and abdicating the authority of the state to a group, which cannot be allowed. It is a non-serious demand by the TTP.” He said, “The Army will be deployed wherever it will be required and necessary.” The spoke person said that the government committee asked the TTP nominees during Friday’s round of talks that they should contact the Taliban leadership so that it announces ceasefire. “They promised to get back within two/three days after speaking to the Taliban decision makers.” He said that some members of the official committee explained to the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan representatives that when terrorist attacks were continuing, it was not possible for the prime minister to order release of “innocent non-combatant women, children and old men” mostly belonging to Swat. “While in this scenario nobody in the government is prepared to persist with the talks’ process, it is a futile expectation that Nawaz Sharif will agree to release of these people. It will tantamount to capitulation by the government.  “Before making such demand, the Taliban should have released Prof Ajmal, Haider Gilani and Shahbaz Taseer as a goodwill gesture. Only then, we would have talked to the prime minister about freeing non-combatants,” he said. However, the armed forces are fully geared, equipped and motivated to ensure the security of Pakistan in any corner of Pakistan once it is given the go-ahead by the government, he said.

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