ANP, PML-N trade barbs on Taliban

Mian Iftikhar Hussain has called upon the PML-N led provincial government to dismantle Taliban network as soon as possible.


Agencies July 04, 2010

PESHAWAR: Claiming that the masterminds of terrorist attacks in the country are hiding in Punjab, the spokesperson for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has called upon the PML-N led provincial government to dismantle their networks as soon as possible to rid the country of the scourge. Speaking to journalists here on Saturday, Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that presence of terrorists in Punjab was an open secret and it was imperative to take action against them.

“I’ve informed Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif about the threat of Taliban in Punjab,” Hussain said and reiterated that close coordination among the four provinces and law-enforcement agencies was needed to root out the menace of militancy from the country. Hussain said Pakhtuns were not terrorists rather they had offered sacrifices in the fight against militancy. “Terrorists are neither Pakhtuns nor Punjabis, they are terrorists,” he added.

The information minister appealed to political forces and civil society organisations to unite against terrorism because the menace could only be eliminated through collective efforts.

However, the Nawaz League is reluctant to buy this viewpoint.

Its most vocal lawmaker, Ahsan Iqbal condemned the statement of Mian Iftikhar Hussain. “Terrorists have no religion or nationality and associating terrorism with a certain province is tantamount to creating divisions among the federating units,” he said.

Iqbal also denounced the use of phrases like Pakhtun Taliban, Punjabi Taliban and Baloch Taliban. “We can defeat the menace of terrorism only by forging unity in our ranks,” he said. The PML-N leader said that there were no training camps of militants in Punjab. And no territory of the province had been taken over by terrorists.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2010

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