After militants slaughtered 132 children at the Army Public School in Peshawar on Tuesday, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told CNN that the government will not back off from the war against militants.
In an interview to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Asif called the Taliban the biggest threat to peace in Pakistan. “The Taliban, these extremists, the terrorists, they are the biggest [threat] to peace in this region, to peace in Pakistan, to the existence of Pakistan.”
“Terror has descended upon our nation today. I have no words to express my shock, my dismay at what happened today. The whole nation is mourning but still, I would say, I will reiterate we will not give up and we shall overcome. And we’ll get rid of this menace from our country, we’ll cleanse our country from this menace.”
He called on the world, especially Western countries to recognise the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan as the frontline state in the war against terror. “Even the children are dying on the frontline in the war against terror.”
He chided criticism of Pakistani security forces, saying it belittles Pakistan’s sacrifices in this war.
“The smaller the coffin, the heavier it is to carry it. And we’ve been carrying smaller coffins today, more than a hundred small coffins we’ve been carrying, the Pakistani nation.”
At least seven militants had stormed into the army run school in Peshawar on Tuesday and killed at least 145 people, including 132 students.