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Killing of Al-Qaeda suspects

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OVER fifty militants are reported to have been killed in an operation carried out by Pakistani security forces in North Waziristan. Those killed include foreigners hailing from Central Asian Republics and some Chechens.

Incidentally the operation was launched on the eve of the visit to Pakistan by American President Bush and therefore, some circles may link it to the appeasement of the guest. However, it is a fact that activities of these elements were bringing not only bad name but also harm to Pakistan and no Government can allow use of the country’s soil to follow such an agenda. This is particularly so in the present circumstances when Pakistan is facing multifarious challenges. But the killing of a large number of people on account of their being ‘suspects’ is questionable. It is also obvious that in such a large-scale operation collateral damage like loss of innocent lives is unavoidable. In this backdrop, the said operation may further establish the sincerity of President Pervez Musharraf to flush out militants from Pakistani soil but it also destabilizes a sensitive area.

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