Buoyed by the gains reaped from the ongoing operation in Karachi, the government decided on Friday that it will continue the operation till its logical conclusion.
During a high-level meeting at the PM House on Friday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was briefed in detail about the security situation in the country.
PM Nawaz reiterates resolve to eliminate terrorism from country
Progress in the Karachi operation was also reviewed during the meeting. There was agreement that since it had yielded positive results, it would be continued till its logical conclusion and that political discord would not be allowed to impede it.
Further, while it was decided to extend special policing powers to Rangers and to expedite the operation, Nawaz was reportedly of the view that Federal Investigation Agency and National Accountability Bureau ought to go soft on the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
He also received a detailed briefing on the follow-up investigations into the terrorist attack at the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda earlier this month.
He reaffirmed the resolve to continue the war on terror until the last terrorist was eliminated from the soil of the country.
Karachi operation to succeed at all costs: PM
“Perpetrators and facilitators of the heinous act of killing our innocent children at the place of their education will be brought to justice,” Nawaz said.
Noting how the military operation codenamed Zarb-e-Azb had broken the terrorists’ backs, Nawaz said the militants had resorted to attacking soft targets but added that “we will not let their evil agenda succeed”.
During the meeting, the premier also took note of the ongoing war of words between Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah. Stating that the government can ill-afford any disharmony within the political set up, Nawaz directed his party leaders to desist from taking on the Pakistan Peoples Party and instead adopt a defensive stance on the Karachi operation.
A few participants at Friday’s meetings told The Express Tribune that the PM had urged his party leaders to avoid recriminations.
“It is appropriate for the party and federal government to be defensive instead of offensive towards PPP and Karachi operation” sources quoted the PM as saying.
No compromise on Karachi operation, PM tells Sindh CM
Nisar’s allegation that Shah was appointed as the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly after some sort of deal with the ruling PML-N had drawn sharp criticism from Shah. Sources said that this had annoyed Nawaz as well but Nisar clarified that his statement had been quoted out of context by the media.
Subsequently, the interior ministry issued a clarification that Nisar had confirmed ‘some kind of deal between the government and the opposition’ during Thursday’s news conference.
Makeover for Pakistan’s image abroad
Since Friday’s meetings was the first high-level meeting, consisting of several members of the federal cabinet since the premier returned from his whirlwind tours to Riyadh, Tehran and then Davos in the past 10 days, Nawaz briefed them about the visits.
Nawaz said that Pakistan’s image abroad had improved due to the consolidated efforts of the government’s team in trying to mediate between Riyadh and Tehran.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th, 2016.
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