Apex committee directs authorities concerned to devise an effective strategy to counter terrorism
In a bid to root out the menace of terrorism from the country, the apex committee Friday agreed that the centre and provinces would adopt a uniform strategy to counter terrorism and eliminate the internal facilitators of militants.
In the wake of the deadly suicide blast inside the Police Lines area's mosque, the meeting — chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir also in attendance at the Governor's House — directed the concerned authorities to devise an effective strategy in this regard.
The meeting also agreed to abolish all the sources assisting the terrorists in the country and directed effective screening, a statement from the PM's Office said.
Adopting a zero-tolerance approach against all kinds of terrorism would be the national motto, while implementation of the decisions would be ensured by national consensus, the huddle decided, according to the statement.
The meeting reviewed in detail the incidents of terrorism, particularly the attack on Police Lines and the situation that followed during which representatives of intelligence agencies briefed the committee on the overall security situation and operations against terrorists in the country.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector-General of Police Muazzam Jah Ansari also updated participants of the meeting regarding the investigation of the Police Lines blast and the progress made so far. Ansari informed attendees about the way and routes of the attacker’s arrival in the area, which the police has identified through videos.
The meeting also hailed the prime minister for convening the All Parties Conference (APC) after the rise in terrorism, hoping that the political leadership would sit together at the table to end terrorism and would decide on steps through national consensus.
The body also appealed to religious scholars to play their role in eradicating terrorism. Ulema were urged to create awareness among the masses against such attacks which are "haram" [prohibited in Islam] and against the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
Those who shed the blood of innocents have nothing to do with Islamabad, the statement said.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar, Maulana Asad Mehmood, caretaker chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, COAS Gen Munir, all chief secretaries, and others were among the attendees of the meeting.
The huddle vowed to punish the perpetrators of bloodshed in the country and teach them a lesson for attacking innocent Pakistanis. The meeting showed a firm commitment to ensure the safety of life and property of the nation at any cost, as well as fulfil its hope and confidence.
Participants of the meeting appealed to the media to ensure responsible behaviour regarding terror incidents and avoid being part of baseless speculations on social media, as this behaviour is detrimental to the requirements of national security, national solidarity and unity.
The high-level session also reviewed the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) and suggestions regarding its improvement according to the present situation.
Upgradation and training of the government’s security agencies including the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA), Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) and police, along with the provision of weapons, technology and other equipment were approved in principle in the meeting, the statement read.
It was decided that the CTD headquarters would be immediately built-in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while a forensic laboratory — like the one in Punjab — will also be established in the province. A safe city project, similar to that in Islamabad and Lahore, will also begin in KP. Training and capacity building of police and CTD personnel will be increased, and modern equipment will also be provided to them.
The system of border management control and immigration were also reviewed in the meeting, while stages of investigating terrorists, their prosecution and punishment also came under consideration.
A consensus was evolved on the eradication of terrorism by ensuring that all organs of the state work with harmony and cooperation for the achievement of common national goals. The legislation will also be made as per need in this regard.
During the meeting, participants prayed for the martyrs and families of the deadly attack in Police Lines. Prayers were also offered for the recovery of the injured. The meeting assured aggrieved families that the blood of their loved ones will not go in vain.
The communique by the PM Office said that the government and nation stand by the martyrs’ families.
The meeting acknowledged the unprecedented bravery and courage of law enforcement agencies including the Pakistan Army, Rangers, Frontier Corps, CTD, and police against terrorism. The huddle paid homage to the martyred officers and soldiers while reiterating the resolve to not let their achievements and sacrifices go in vain.