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Pak sees ‘foreign hand’ behind violence

world Updated: Jun 26, 2008 22:58 IST
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The Pakistan government accused a “foreign hand” of being behind the resurgence of violence in Pakistan's tribal areas where militants attacked and burned schools and government installations.

There was evidence of presence of both foreign elements and foreign help, Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq said in Islamabad on Thursday.

Sadiq also denied Pakistan's involvement in militant activity in Afghanistan. Officials from Pakistan and Afghanistan have traded accusations all week.

Fighting between government-backed tribesmen and Islamic militants continued in parts of the NWFP and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

Four people died in Swat on Thursday as government forces and Islamic militants fought pitched battles. In the NWFP’s Swat Valley, militants took over a girls school, renaming it Jamia Hafsa in reference to the Islamabad seminary at the centre of military action last year.

Despite the continuing violence, a senior minister of the NWFP government, Bashir Bilour, said the conflict with Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had been resolved and announced 45 prisoners would be released on bail.
G-8 plans $ 4 bn package for Afghan-Pak border

The G-8 industrial powers agreed on Thursday to spend $ 4 billion to develop the troubled border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Japan's foreign minister said. “The G-8 decided to provide support for the tribal people living in the region,” the minister told reporters, as the ministers of the G-8 countries met in Kyoto, Japan. “We agreed that the G-8 alone will provide support worth four billion dollars for the region,” he said.