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Swift action needed to curb Taliban: Musharraf

Citing the rise and spread of militancy, the Pakistan president warns that growing militancy could engulf the nation.

world Updated: Jun 30, 2007 13:48 IST

Warning that Islamic militants and Taliban fighters were rapidly spreading beyond the country's lawless tribal areas, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said that without "swift and decisive action," the growing militancy could engulf the rest of the nation.

The warning came in a document from the Interior Ministry, which said Pakistan's security forces in North-West Frontier Province abutting the tribal areas were outgunned and outnumbered and had forfeited authority to the Taliban and their allies, 'The New York Times reported.

"The ongoing spell of active Taliban resistance has brought about serious repercussions for Pakistan," said the 15-page document, which the Times says was shown to it.

"There is a general policy of appeasement towards the Taliban, which has further emboldened them." The document, the report said, was discussed by Pakistan's National Security Council on June four while Musharraf was present.

It appears to be the first such document to emerge from the Pakistani government formally recognising the seriousness of the spreading threat here from Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the Times said quoting a Western diplomat.

The diplomat, who was not authorised to speak for attribution, called the document "an accurate description of the dagger pointed at the country's heart".

"It's tragic it's taken so long to recognise it," the diplomat added.

First Published: Jun 30, 2007 13:37 IST