In a gesture of solidarity with the families of the victims of All Saints Church blast in Peshawar, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday announced a trust fund of Rs200 million to rehabilitate survivors and relatives of those affected by the terrorist attack.
He made the announcement while talking to journalists after his meeting with members of the Christian community at the Governor House in Peshawar.
The prime minister said that the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government and the federal government will jointly share the trust fund that will be solely dedicated to assist Christians affected by acts of terrorism.
“We do not have a trained force to combat the menace of terrorism and the time has come to raise a special counterterrorism force,” Nawaz said.
“A special law on terrorism is being drafted to ensure that those involved in acts of terrorism do not get bail,” he said adding that the new law will mete out severe punishment to those found guilty.
He said lack of proof and witnesses resulted in release of militants on bail, “We are working on an effective law, which will show results soon,” he said.
Talking about the All Parties Conference that was held on September 9, the premier said that solving national issues through dialogue was a plan endorsed by all political parties and the government was sincere about it.
In response to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) demands for negotiations to stop drone strikes, the prime minister said that not just the TTP but the government also was against US drone strikes as it was a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.
The prime minister also touched upon Karachi’s law and order situation during his talk with the media and said that the targeted operation in Karachi was ‘against enemies of peace’ and was being successfully conducted.
Earlier, the prime minister also chaired a high-level meeting on law and order. K-P IG Police Nasir Durrani briefed the meeting on the law and order situation in the province.
Later the prime minister attended a Pakistan Air Force graduation ceremony in Risalpur. Addressing the graduates, the premier empasised that Pakistan was a peace-loving country.
“We have strived for peace and would continue to play a responsible role in the comity of nations,” he asserted.
He also endorsed the capabilities of PAF and said that the air force would prove its mettle in safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2013.