PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Hundreds of tribal elders, religious leaders and militants have called on Pakistan not to launch a military operation in the country's last major militant sanctuary.
Malik Nasrullah Khan, a tribal elder who attended the meeting, said Sunday the group cited a nonaggression pact it says the army has with the most powerful militant leader in the North Waziristan tribal area, Hafiz Gul Bahadur.
Commanders loyal to Bahadur were present at the meeting Saturday in Eidak town in North Waziristan.
Authorities see Bahadur as less of a threat because he has focused attacks in Afghanistan, not in Pakistan. But the military has never officially acknowledged having a nonaggression pact with him.
The U.S. says Pakistan plans to launch an operation against the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan in the near future.