About 3,000 terrorists in Swat Valley would be killed: Zardari
Observing that about 3,000 terrorists were in Swat valley, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said his government is determined to kill them all to bring life to normalcy in the picturesque valley in the vicinity of Islamabad.world Updated: May 10, 2009 08:44 IST
Observing that about 3,000 terrorists were in Swat valley, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said his government is determined to kill them all to bring life to normalcy in the picturesque valley in the vicinity of Islamabad.
"I think the last count we have managed to dislodge most of the folks from the mountains and the miscreants have lost about 145 people. So that's 145 of the 'nasties' dead, and we are still in operation," Zardari said in an interview with the PBS newschannel.
He said that Pakistan Army has been carrying out operation against the terrorists and they had some successes earlier and "this success is going to be even more effective."
When asked to clarify on the statement made by his Prime Minister that the objective was to "eliminate the militants and terrorists," Zardari said: "That means clearing out the area of the miscreants and bringing life to normalcy. ... If they can, they kill our soldiers and we do the same."
When interviewer, Margaret Warner asked him to clarify what "eliminate" means, Zardari said "eliminate means exactly what it means."
When she asked: "Killing them all". Zardari replied: "That's what it means."
It could be the toughest message coming from Pakistan President against the terrorists so far.
Zardari said the Swat peace agreement with militants no longer exists.
"The deal was based upon that the fact that they would bring peace and lay down the arms. They refuse to lay down arms and they did not bring peace to the region. So yes, you can say that the deal is off," he said.
Acknowledging that there has been a presence of the Taliban in the Swat Valley, Zardari however asserted that they were never running the show.
"There was a presence of the Taliban. We were there and we had - you know this is the third operation in Swat. We have encountered them before and we had an agreement which failed - it did not work. So now they have to be eliminated."
Zardari also said that the deal could not be revived in case the Taliban abide by the contours of the agreement and stop taking military action.
Pakistan President said after the army operation was over non-governmental and humanitarian organizations would be asked to move in the area to provide aid.
"We can't have the aid donors going in there and getting casualties on them also. So it is a little precarious, a little difficult situation. But the moment it settles down, they will be allowed to go there. At the moment, the situation is the people have come out of the area. So we are looking after them in camps. Most of them have gone to their own extended families. That's the way it is playing out," he said.