Zardari to Xinhua: Pakistan would continue to fight militancy; Holbrooke: US-Pakistan to cooperate on energy crisis; Hakeemullah announced as the new leader of the TTP; 4 security personnel killed in a suicide bomb attack in North Waziristan
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  • Pakistan President, in an interview with the Chinese news agency Xinhua on August 21 asserted that security operations against militants would continue till law and order prevailed and the “writ of the government is fully established1.” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also, addressing a press conference in Islamabad on August 16 after meeting US special envoy Richard Holbrooke, reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to “eliminate” terrorists from every corner of the country2. Holbrooke on his part stated that the US would give Pakistan all possible assistance to Pakistan in its fight against extremism, as well as to overcome its difficult financial and energy situation. He added that the US would form a Pakistan Emergency Energy Task Force to channel this cooperation and that an expert team would visit Pakistan to gauge the extent of the crisis3.

    Militant commander Faqir Mohammed announced in Khar on August 22 that Hakeemullah had reportedly taken over the leadership mantle of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)4. 4 security personnel were also killed in Miramshah on August 18 when an explosives-laden vehicle rammed onto a check post in North Waziristan5.

    The Pakistan PM Gilani meanwhile noted that it may not be easy to try former President Gen. Musharraf on charges of treason. This was on account of the fact that there was a tacit understanding between Musharraf, the army and the civilian government in August 2008 when he quit office6.

    In other developments, the Pakistan government complimented the Afghan authorities for successfully holding the August 22 presidential elections. It noted that the elections would ensure the strengthening of democratic process in the war-ridden country7.