ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) has officially recommended to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat to set up a full-fledged cantonment in Waziristan region once the area is completely cleared of the terrorists upon the completion of ongoing military operation in North Waziristan Agency (NWA).
The recommendation, which has been moved in the form of an official summary, was forwarded sometime earlier this month and presently awaits Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s approval, informed official sources told Daily Times. The summary cites the successes of the security forces against the terrorists in NWA, noting that the region would be ready for hand-over to civilian control once it is completely cleared of the terrorists, officials said.
The sources quoted the summary as having stated that in order to ensure government’s unchallenged and permanent writ in Waziristan, it is imperative that a cantonment covering North and South Waziristan be set up. This would help ensuring foolproof vigilance inside the two agencies as well as to keep a vigil on the cross-border movement to and from NWA and SWA, the sources said.
Lately, the federal government has been mulling over the option of creating a full-fledged cantonment in Waziristan and the matter was taken up for discussion in a recent cabinet meeting that PM Nawaz chaired. However, no formal progress was made on this count before the SAFRON Ministry officially moved the said summary, the officials said. SAFRON Minister Lieutenant General (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch confirmed that the option of establishing a cantonment in Waziristan region was being considered at the highest level.
“We have considered the pros and cons of establishing a garrison locality or cantonment in Waziristan and have arrived at the decision that it is vital for keeping the tribal region in Pakistan’s fold by making sure that the menace of terrorism never rears its ugly head again.”
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