8,000 foreign fighters in Fata
|8,000 foreign fighters in Fata ring alarm bells in Islamabad|
Monday, July 21, 2008
By Hamid Mir
ISLAMABAD: In a disturbing report presented to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, days before he travels to the United States, the latest figure of foreign fighters present in the tribal areas of Pakistan is estimated to be more than 8,000 but the government is reluctant to officially confirm this number.
At a special cabinet briefing on Sunday in which Asif Ali Zardari was also present, besides the prime minister and Adviser to the Interior Ministry Rehman Malik, said the government will have to use force if the process of dialogue does not produce the results but his view was opposed by the minister from FATA Hamidullah Jan.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his key ministers will visit Peshawar on Monday for a special meeting, which could decide the launching of a major operation against foreign fighters in Fata, Interior Ministry Adviser Rehman Malik told The News on Sunday.