Govt has no plan to launch Swat-like operation in Balochistan: PM

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday categorically stated that the government has no intention to launch a Swat-like military operation in Balochistan. “There is no such plan to launch a Swat or Malakand-like operation. That is wrong. It is for the provincial government in Balochistan to take decisions about their province”, Gilani told a group of newspaper editors and media persons here at the Prime Minister House.

The Prime Minister said, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who has already contradicted the statement, also told him that he did not talk about any military operation in Balochistan.
Prime Minister Gilani said the government was very sensitive about Balochistan, adding, the approval of a special Balochistan package was reflective of the government’s positive approach.
“We have also invited the nationalist leaders for talks”, he maintained.
The Prime Minister, when asked as if he intends to reshuffle the cabinet, responded that according to the Constitution (after 18th Constitutional Amendment) he has to reduce the size of cabinet before the next year (2011).
As far as the reshuffle in cabinet is concerned, he said, the matter could be taken up at the forum of PPP’s Central Executive Committee (CEC).
Prime Minister Gilani in response to a question about difference of opinion in political parties on some issue said doors are never closed in politics, adding, “politicians make bridges and they do not create walls”.
He was of the view that given the political situation, it can be predicted that there would be a mixed mandate in the next elections as well, which would again bring in a coalition government. “So we should learn to live with each other.”
To another question, the Prime Minister said, “nobody was expecting such a magnitude of devastation caused by floods in the country and when this calamity hit Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan, we were even hesitant to make a flash appeal”.