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Pak indirectly blames Taliban for Lahore terror attack

May 27, 2009 14:14 IST

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday indirectly blamed the Taliban for the daring suicide attack on the Inter Services Intelligence's provincial headquarters in Lahore.

"It appears to be a fall-out of the ongoing military operations in Swat, Dir and other areas of the North West Frontier Province," Malik said and warned that there would be no let up in the crackdown on these 'anti-national elements'.

"They want to destabilise Pakistan. Threats have been held out by Tehrik-i-Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud," the interior minister told reporters in Karachi.

Without naming any group, Malik said those carrying out such acts were militants who were escaping from the onslaught in Swat, Dir and Buner.

"We are in a state of insurgency. There is a war inside the country and there were two options before the government -- either to hand over control to these elements or to confront and crush them," he said.

"We have opted for the option to flush them out," Malik said and sounded a warning to radical groups to lay down their arms as they had no other option left.

Malik said that after the Taliban threatened to carry out suicide attacks, the federal government had geared up intelligence sharing with the provincial government.

He said the current crackdown against the Taliban had a national consensus and even the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supported it.

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