ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif says security forces have been given approval to retaliate following the wave of terrorist attacks in the country.
The defence minister told reporters 40 "cowardly" attacks were carried out in the last 17 days in which 175 people were killed. According to Asif the dialogue process had been harmed due these attacks.
Khawaja Asif emphasised that it was the responsibility of the government to protect the lives of citizens.
In an earlier statement, the defence minister said armed forces would respond strongly to malicious acts carried out by terrorists.
In a series of air strikes Pakistani fighter jets targeted militant hideouts in the tribal areas late Wednesday night. 35 militants including local and foreign commanders were killed in the strikes.