The government is determined to take all necessary steps to root out terrorism and extremism, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Thursday.
He was presiding over the 6th meeting of the Provincial Apex Committee. Lahore Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Zaman, Home Minister Col (r) Shuja Khanzada, Punjab Rangers DG Maj Gen Umer Farooq Barki, 10th Division General Officer Commanding Maj Gen Sardar Tariq Aman and IGP Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera attended the meeting.
The participants expressed satisfaction over the measures taken in the province under National Action Plan for eliminating terrorism. The performance of the Punjab government and law enforcement agencies in their campaigns against terrorists and their facilitators was also appreciated. The meeting decided to take more effective steps for the implementation of the National Action Plan.
It was decided that there be a complete ban on the collection of zakat and fitrana by banned organisations.
Addressing the meeting, Sharif said that National Action Plan reflected the government and people’s determination to eliminate terrorism. “The successful operation of Pakistan Army against terrorists is continuing with full force. The enemies of the country are being eliminated through Operation Zarb-i-Azb. Our army has written a new chapter of bravery in the war against terrorism,” the chief minister said.
Sharif said that officers and jawans of the army, police and all segments of society, including children, had rendered sacrifices in the war against terrorism. “The war against terrorism is the war for the survival of the country. The whole nation stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the army,” he said.
He said the war will continue till the elimination of every terrorist from the country. “The country will be rid of terrorists and the war against terrorism will be taken to its logical end. Terrorists and their facilitators will find no place to hide,” he said.
The chief minister said that the Punjab government had taken effective measures under the National Action Plan for the elimination of terrorism. He said that Counter Terrorism Force had been set up in the province. “The ban on wall chalking, use of loudspeakers, provocative speeches and publication and distribution of literature based on religious hatred is being strictly implemented. The punishment for these offences has been increased through legislation,” he said.
Lt Gen Zaman said that the ongoing indiscriminate action against network of terrorists, their facilitators and those providing them financial assistance would continue.
Earlier, Lt Gen Zaman met the chief minister. The chief minister paid tribute to the sacrifices rendered by the army in the war against terrorism.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2015.