Pakistani president vows war till victory
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari says the nation will continue the battle with the Taliban insurgency until ultimate victory is gained, Press TV reported.
The country is battling for its 'sovereignty' and "We will continue this war until the end, and we will win it at any cost," Zardari said in a televised address to the nation broadcast after 1 a.m. (1900 GMT on Friday).
Calling on the nation to unite behind the cause, he said, "Taliban are the enemies of innocent people. They want to terrorize the people and to take control of the country's institutions."
"You will have to win this war at any cost," he said, and added that "We will win it."
This war has the support of the parliament, the support of the political parties as well as the people of Pakistan, he said.
His strong message came in after a day of bloodshed on Friday that claimed the lives of at least 80 people. Militants also have launched a wave of bomb attacks in recent days in response to an army offensive in the Swat region, to the northwest of the capital, Islamabad.
On Friday, two simultaneous suicide bombings at Pakistani mosques killed at least six people including a prominent anti-Taliban cleric.
Also on Friday, Tehrik-e-Taliban, the Taliban Movement of Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the bombings and an attack on a luxury hotel in the northwestern city of Peshawar earlier in the week.
The much-feared organization is headed by the country's most wanted militant Baitullah Mehsud, who the former government in Islamabad accused of masterminding the 2007 assassination of ex-premier Benazir Bhutto, Zardari's late wife.
Zardari has blamed the Taliban for the assassination of Bhutto saying she was killed 'because she challenged these people'.
Friday's bombings are the latest in a string of attacks widely seen as revenge by the Taliban for a punishing military offensive launched against the insurgents around Swat valley on April 26.
So far 1,429 militants and 126 soldiers have been killed since military operations were launched in late April.
Taliban-linked attacks have killed more than 1,960 people in Pakistan since July 2007.