Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday pledged to spearhead the war against terrorism for his people and country and take the fight against militants to its logical end, come what may.
“Operation Zarb-e-Azb will continue till the last terrorist is eliminated,” said the premier while chairing a high-level meeting of civil-military leaders. “No distinction will be made between those who have committed acts of terror and those who harbour, facilitate and finance them.”
The PM said the nation cannot forget or forgive the atrocities committed by ‘these barbarians’ in Peshawar, Quetta and Wagah. “The sacrifices given by the people of Pakistan, including our security forces, are unparalleled in this war and the blood of martyrs will not go in vain,” he said.
He underscored the need for national unity to defeat the terrorist and extremist ideology, which, he said, will be defeated at all costs. “Every citizen of the country, irrespective of his caste, sect or faith, will be protected,” the PM said, adding that no cause is holier than protecting the life and property of every citizen of Pakistan.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif as well as DG ISI, DG Military Operations, DG MI and DG ISPR attended the meeting which reviewed progress on Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Khyber One, under way in North Waziristan and Khyber Agencies, respectively.
The member also discussed modalities of a national action plan on counterterrorism and extremism. Attorney General of Pakistan Salman Aslam Butt later joined the meeting and briefed the member about legal perspective and judiciary’s role in fighting against terrorism.
The meeting expressed resolve to ensure swift and effective implementation of the approved action plan. The member also discussed various short term and medium term steps required to be taken for eliminating terror networks in every nook and corner of the country.
Earlier, the PM held meetings with his legal team and senior cabinet members to study in detail the possible measures that can be taken to eliminate the threat.
It was unanimously decided that effective and immediate measures should be taken for the protection of lives and property of the people of Pakistan, the official source at the PM House said.
The PM, during meeting with his legal team, discussed finding permanent solution of issues and to remove lacunas in the existing laws.
PM to meet parliamentary leaders today
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called a meeting of the parliamentary leaders today (Wednesday) at the PM House to finalise the National Action Plan on Counter Terrorism Measures and Extremism.
According to a PM House statement, the meeting will be held at 11 am and will deliberate on the suggestions put forward for an effective course of action against terrorism.
The meeting of the parliamentary leaders is summoned in the wake of the Peshawar school tragedy in which over 140 innocent lives were lost.
Today’s meeting will also be attended by army chief General Raheel Sharif and DG ISI Rizwan Akhtar as well as all parliamentary leaders including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s chief Imran Khan.
Sources said a comprehensive briefing will be organised after the meeting and civil and military leadership will jointly share their future counterterrorism strategy with the nation. They said some unusual announcement might be made after civil military leadership meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2014.