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Pak minister indicates Taliban may be behind Lahore attack

world Updated: May 27, 2009 13:46 IST

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik today pointed the finger at the Taliban for the daring suicide attack on the ISI provincial headquarters in the eastern city of Lahore and warned the authorities won't be deterred and would press hard with their current campaign.

"It appears to be a fallout of the ongoing military operations in Swat, Dir and other areas of North West Frontier Province," Malik said and warned that there would be no let up in the crackdown on these "anti-national elements".

"They want to destabilise Pakistan. Threats have been held out by Tehrik-i-Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud," the Interior Minister told reporters in Karachi.

Without naming any group, Malik said those carrying out such acts were militants who were escaping from the heat of army onslaught in Swat, Dir and Buner.

"We are in a state of insurgency. There is a war inside the country and there were two options before the government either to cave in and hand over control to these elements or to confront and crush them," he said.

"We have opted for the option to flush them out," Malik said and sounded a warning to radical groups to lay down their arms as they had no other option left.

Malik said after the threat received from Taliban of carrying out suicide attacks, the Federal Government had geared up intelligence sharing with the provincial government.

He said the current crackdown against the Taliban had a national consensus and even the opposition PML-N supported it.