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President warns tribesmen of tough action

January 12, 2005

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 11: President Gen Pervez Musharraf has issued a stern warning to tribes to stop attacks on gas fields. In an interview with a TV channel aired on Tuesday , the president asked the so-called 'nationalist' elements to desist from subversive activities in the province.

"Don't push us. This is not the Seventies," he said, referring to an insurgency in Balochistan which was put down by the military in the 1970s. "They will not even know what has hit them," he said.

The warning came after a series of rocket strikes in recent days killed three people and damaged a pipeline in Sui. President Musharraf said the government was keeping an eye on the activities of the so-called 'nationalist or sub-nationalist' elements.

Replying to a question on Kalabagh dam project, he said, a technical committee would submit its report shortly. Gen Musharraf said there was a need to create public opinion in Sindh and the NWFP that the apprehensions and qualms on Kalabagh dam plan were unfounded.

He regretted the opposition to the dam project in Sindh province which, he said, would be benefiting the most from its construction. President Musharraf said he had talked to former premier Nawaz Sharif and former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif purely only to offer condolences on the death of their father.

He dispelled the impression that Nawaz Sharif went abroad against his will and said that in fact it was at his (Sharif's) own request. -Agencies