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Pakistani Ruling Party Backs Offensive Against Taliban

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (right) speaks with military chiefs as they watch an exercise in November 2013.
ISLAMABAD -- In a reversal of position, a majority of lawmakers from Pakistan's governing Muslim League Nawaz party now say they back a military offensive against the Pakistani Taliban.

Lawmakers at a meeting on January 27 signaled their approval for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to launch an offensive, after first consulting with opposition parties.

The party had initially supported peace talks.

Sharif told the lawmakers terrorism must be eliminated and that "Pakistan will not allow anyone to use its soil" against neighboring countries.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said his administration could not trust the Taliban because it was "asking for talks and killing innocent people at the same time."

Calls for a decisive offensive against the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan have grown after it claimed a recent wave of attacks that killed scores of civilians and soldiers.

With reporting by and