Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says the army is not involved in an ongoing crackdown against tribal militants in Baluchistan province.
In a televised address to the nation Tuesday, he said only para-military forces are conducting an operation which is not aimed against the whole province but only against militants who have been carrying out attacks against the government.
The president said Baluch militants fired rockets even when he was speaking to the people in the Kohlu region of the province, and they later shot at a military helicopter, injuring a major general. President Musharraf accused a small number of feudal lords of Baluchistan of fomenting the trouble. He did not name them, but said they are against development of the region so that they can continue to dominate and exploit their own people. He said one of the feudal lords even has a private army.
Baluch militant groups say they are fighting for a greater share of their region's natural resources. They also say they are against President Musharraf's move to establish army garrisons in Baluchistan.