Islamabad will talk to Kabul to address the issue of safe shelters for terrorists in Afghanistan, says minister
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that the prior policy to resettle and rehabilitate the militants of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has been proven ineffective, stressing that the incumbent coalition government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism and extremism.
The interior minister's remarks came after the banned outfit accepted responsibility for the Peshawar mosque attack that left at least 63 dead and 150 others wounded. The massive suicide bombing took place at a crowded mosque inside the Police Lines compound in Peshawar on Monday.
It was wrong to think that the outlawed TTP would be brought under the law of Pakistan following negotiations with them, he said, speaking duringGeo News programme 'Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath' on Monday.
The idea that they would lay down their arms and submit to law was mistaken, he said. Rana Sanaullah said it was also incorrect to believe that the TTP was separate from the Afghan Taliban.
The minister condemned the terrorist attack and stated that the suicide bomber aimed to target police personnel, including officers.
The previous policy of resettling the Taliban could not bear fruit, he said. The policy, he said, resulted in the current situation the country finds itself in today. Accordingly, the incumbent government has changed its approach to the Taliban, one that is designed to be successful no matter what, he emphasised. Though it will take some time, he said.
The law-enforcement agencies, including the Khyber Pakhutunkhwa police, are currently conducting intelligence-based operations more in number than terrorist activities, he said, adding terrorists are being eliminated and captured in these operations.
The minister further said that the outlawed TTP militants have safe havens in a neighbouring country where they plan sabotage activities and execute them in Pakistan. It is despite the fact that the Afghan Taliban had made an agreement not only with Pakistan but with the whole world that they would not allow their land to be used against any other country, he said.
Terrorists don't occupy any area of Pakistan where they have their writ estabished, he stressed.
The minister emphasised the need for dialogue with Kabul so that terrorists cease having safe shelters in Afghanistan. At the same time, Pakistan will increase the number of IBOs aimed at eliminating terrorists' safe havens in the country, he added.
KP Caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan has announced a day of mourning in the province tomorrow (Tuesday) following the heinous attack.
The national flag will be at half-mast across the province, he said, adding, “The government share the grief of the martyrs’ families.”
The interim CM also assured the aggrieved families that the provincial government would not leave them alone in the aftermath of the tragedy.