Full-scale fighting has erupted in the Waziristan tribal areas situated on the Pak-Afghan border. Both the security forces and alleged terrorists have been pounding each others' positions with heavy weapons.
Reports said that seventeen security men were killed and 13 injured when miscreants attacked a convoy of security forces in Madakhel area of North Waziristan tribal region on Wednesday.
Several miscreants were killed in retaliatory firing by the security forces and others fled to hide in nearby hilly terrain.
Director General ISPR Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad informed that the armed men opened fire on the convoy of security forces in the morning after 08:30 am, in which 16 security men were martyred and 14 injured. The injured were later shifted to Bannu hospital.
Replying to a question he said he has no reports of miscreants casualties in retaliatory action of the forces.
Talking to the senior journalists here, he said that his country and the people were his priority. The president said that the extremists want confrontation with the moderates.
President General Pervez Musharraf reiterated that the elections would be held on time as required in the constitution. Prior to elections, a caretaker government would be set up, he said.
Referring to the law and order situation in NWFP, the president said that the National Security Council had approved the deployment of the Army in the NWFP province.
Musharraf said he would seek re-election by the parliament according to the constitution.
He vowed that extremism would not be tolerated at any cost. He said steps would be taken to change the atmosphere at religious schools.
The president said that the government is trying to meet the existing situation with full force. Replying a question about US intelligence report he said the report has no link with the reality.
In the past, thousands of women and children were killed in the fighting. This time preventive measures should be taken to save the lives of women and children.