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Military operation sans consensus can blow back: Zardari.

ISLAMABAD -- Warning about what he called blowback of consensus-less army operation anywhere in the country, President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday vehemently shunned calls for immediate offensive against the North Waziristan militants.

"On Swat we had national consensus, and for Waziristan also, but this I don't have opposition parties' support that are banking on the rightist votes for elections ahead," said the President while addressing the concluding session of the South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) conference on media and fair elections at Presidency.

"The idea of using force against a mindset which is widespread across the sections of the society would be simply emotional and naive," the President said adding "any decision to use force would be taken with complete consensus, in the right context, and at an appropriate time." Asking the government to rush for a North Waziristan offensive in the context of the Mala incident is not fair. The President referred to SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis for carrying out anymore operations.

"Your requirements are of Westminster style, while I have to deals with complexities of society that range from tribalism to feudalism," he said while responding to the calls for immediate NWA operation.

"Before making peace with rest of the world we need to achieve peace within, in the first place," the President said adding, "Waging war is not making peace with anyone. And what if the problematic people are your own countrymen with an anti-peace mindset," he questioned. "I think here you need to defeat this extremist mindset," he said in an answering tone.

Therefore, the President said, "I'm following the path of reconciliation, and national consensus on any issue be it militancy or anything else. I am following the path of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto." While quoting a speech of late BB, he said, she wanted resolution of all issue through dialogue and always cherished regional peace and cooperation.

Despite the fact that I have given all my discretionary powers to Prime Minister, still I hold myself answerable to the people of Pakistan. He called upon the media to show both the sides of the coin.

Remembering his friend slain governor Salman Taseer, he pointed out an ironic dichotomy in the society. "No one dared to be the lawyer assassinated Governor while the assassin got a retired Chief Justice as volunteer counsel. There are people who depositing money in the killer's account, the President said. He asked how many people sympathized with the family of Taseer and even after his son was kidnapped, too.

He said the country that was supposed to help us in the war against terrorism, did not do so. "In fact no one helped us, and the only country that stood by Pakistan is China," he maintained.
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Oct 22, 2012
Words:458
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