PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to eradicate terrorism from the country, a day after a deadly attack in Peshawar killed 148 people, including 132 students.
“We have decided to draft an action against terrorists and act upon it immediately,” Nawaz said, while reading out decisions deliberated at the All Parties Conference chaired by him earlier today at the Governor House in Peshawar.
Elaborating on the plan of action, the premier said, “We have unanimously decided that a committee comprising all parliamentary parties under Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar will prepare a plan of action against terrorism which will be submitted to the national leadership within seven days.”
Member of armed forces, intelligence and political parties will be a part of the committee.
Remorseful, Nawaz said, “We express deep grief over the Peshawar tragedy. This incident has no match in the history of Pakistan.”
Backing the decision to launch a full-scale offensive against militants in June this year in North Waziristan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Nawaz said, “We have all seen the results of dialogue with the Taliban. We could not achieve anything through dialogue and then the Karachi airport was attacked.”
He continued there is a need to take stern action against all militants across the country and not just the northern tribal areas.
“Operation Zarb-e-Azb is continuing successfully but we need to draft a plan of action to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the whole country.”
“We announce that there will be no differentiation between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban and have resolved to continue the war against terrorism till the last terrorist is eliminated,” he continued.
Nawaz also expressed his resolve to eliminate terrorism not only in Pakistan but the whole region, “We don’t only want peace in Pakistan but Aghanistan as well. We want peace in the whole region.”
Further, regarding an announcement from the premier’s office earlier today regarding his decision to lift the ban on death penalty in terrorism cases, Nawaz questioned, “If terrorists are not punished, then who will be punished?”
“We have proposed terrorism cases should be expedited, so those responsible are punished.”
Seated in between Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, responding to a question regarding PTI’s postponement of his countrywide shutdown, PM Nawaz said, “I am thankful to Imran Khan for attending this meeting and I have invited him over for tea.”
A gesture of unity in the wake of the recent attack, the premier further said, “Dialogue can resolve all sorts of issues in democracy.”
However, to this, interrupting the premier’s speech, PTI chairman Imran Khan said, “Our differences are not about our egos, they are about rigging.”
“The nation has to unite because the military cannot win this alone,” Imran contended, adding, “Today, we all agreed that a national plan to eliminate terrorism should be prepared.”
Further, he said, from the conference he will go directly to his container where they will offer funeral prayers in absentia for the victims.
At this point, Nawaz jokingly added, “I have to visit injured children at the hospital otherwise I would have gone to the container with Imran.”