Military action in Waziristan may end
Musharraf has said he would consider demands from tribal chiefs to end military operations in a volatile region.Updated: Mar 09, 2006 15:42 IST
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said he would consider demands from tribal chiefs to end military operations in a volatile region near the Afghan border where gunbattles have killed an estimated 100 pro-Taliban fighters.
Musharraf said he favoured giving peace a chance during a meeting with a dozen tribal elders from North Waziristan in Rawalpindi, a garrison city near the capital Islamabad.
"President Musharraf has assured us that he will consider our demands," Malik Khalid Khan Wazir said on Wednesday.
He said they called for a halt in the fighting to allow them to try and negotiate between the warring parties.
Musharraf's spokesman, Shaukat Sultan, said the President sought the elders' help in the government's efforts to evict foreign militants and their local supporters from the region and the elders promised "full support."
Fighting broke out in Miran Shah and other towns in North Waziristan on Saturday, when militant tribesmen attacked security forces and took over government buildings in response to an earlier army assault on a suspected Al-Qaeda camp at a border village that the army said killed 45 militants, including foreigners.
The tribesmen - many of them students of local Islamic schools, or madrassas, - say that attack killed civilians.
Although heavy clashes have subsided since the weekend, militants on Tuesday ambushed the convoy of the top administrator for North Waziristan tribal region, and shot dead one of his bodyguards.
First Published: Mar 09, 2006 13:40 IST