Pakistan offensive against Taliban kills over 200 militants

The Pakistan Army has killed over 200 militants in their all-out offensive against the Taliban in the restive North Waziristan tribal region, as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked Afghan President Hamid Karzai to plug the entry of terrorists fleeing the assault.

At least 25 militants have been killed in the operation against Taliban militants in the North Waziristan, one of seven tribal regions of Pakistan, the military said on Tuesday.
Fighter jets destroyed six terrorist hideouts, including a training camp and an IED making factory around Hasokhel early this morning.

‘25 foreign and local terrorists were killed in the strikes,’ Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said in a statement. He said the operation was progressing as per plan and the cordon around all terrorist hideouts including in the town of Mirali and Miranshah has been further tightened.
Bajwa said last night three terrorists were killed while fleeing from the cordoned off area in Miranshah. One soldier was also injured in the exchange of fire.

The death toll in three days of fighting has risen to 212, including the 25 killed on Tuesday.
The army wants to complete the operation before start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan later this month, an official said.

Bajwa said civilians were allowed to leave and areas were sealed after verification.
Necessary logistics and administrative arrangements for displaced people have been made by the political administration and the Disaster Management Agency.
Air surveillance of the operational area with the help of own surveillance assets is also being undertaken, the army said.

Prime Minister Sharif on Monday had telephonic conversation with Karzai, urging him to plug entrance of fleeing militants into his country. The call was made after reports said that more than 2,000 people have already entered Afghanistan through the porous border since the army launched operation on Sunday against Taliban in their stronghold of North Wziristan. A spokesman of the Prime Minister confirmed the call between Sharif and Karzai for cooperation against the militants.
Meanwhile, army chief General Raheel Sharif has postponed a scheduled visit to Sri Lanka.

He was to go to Colombo on Tuesday for a four-day trip but he cancelled it due to the operation in North Waziristan, a military spokesman said.

Former PM Gilani granted bail in 12 corruption cases

Pakistan’s former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was on Tuesday granted bail by an anti-corruption court in 12 graft cases against him.

The court granted bail to the 62-year-old Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader until July 10. ‘I respect the courts and that is why I have appeared in person before the anti-corruption court. I am thankful the court has heard me out and granted me bail as I am ready to appear again in any case,’ Gillani told reporters outside the court. The former premier has been accused of largescale corruption amounting to millions of rupees in 12 different cases by the National Accountability Bureau.

Gillani said he was wrongly accused of corruption and would fight to get his name cleared in all the cases. A large number of Gilani’s supporters were gathered outside the court. Some PPP leaders accompanied him to the Judge’s chamber. Gillani, who was Pakistan’s Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012 and also Speaker of the National Assembly before that, appealed to current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to ensure that the political opponents are not victimised.
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