- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says there’s no such thing as ‘good Taliban’ or ‘bad Taliban’
- Vows to chase terrorists even inside Afghanistan
- Political leadership set aside differences, join hands in APC for fight against terrorism
- APC forms committee to prepare National Plan of Action against terrorism
Having all political parties on board for the fight against terrorism in the backdrop of the Peshawar massacre, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not hesitate Wednesday in eliminating the distinction between the “good Taliban” and “bad Taliban” and vowed to eliminate all the enemies of the country even if it meant chasing down Taliban in the Afghan territory.
During a meeting of the parliamentary leaders held at Governor House Peshawar on the invitation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the entire national political leadership reiterated its firm resolve to continue the war against terror till the elimination of the last terrorist from the Pakistani soil.
The meeting resolved that an effective national strategy should be formed and implemented to tackle the menace of terrorism.
Standing united in the face of terrorism, the political leaders decided to form a committee under the chairmanship of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to prepare a National Plan of Action against terrorism within a week.
The plan would be presented before the national political leadership in seven days for approval. It will then be placed before the nation by the political and military leadership.
The committee will have one representative each from parliamentary and other political parties while representatives of the armed forces and intelligence agencies will also be a part of the committee.
Sources told Pakistan Today that some members of the meeting criticised the deadline for the committee to prepare the plan. However, it was clarified that December 24 had been fixed for the report and a week had been given so that the army could be taken on board.
The leaders expressed grief over the worst tragedy in Peshawar and noted that the armed forces and security institutions rendered great sacrifices and destroyed numerous terrorists’ hideouts.
Addressing the meeting, PTI’s Jahangir Tareen stressed the need to activate the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA). He lamented the inordinate delay caused by trivial issues as to who would head the Authority.
During the meeting, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan pointed out that it was time the political leaders took ownership of the war against terrorism. The political leadership nodded in approval and vowed for terrorists’ elimination without discrimination.
Moreover, Senator Mushahid Hussain brought the attention of the meeting to the polls rigging allegation put forth by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. He urged the government to resolve the longstanding issues so that the country may embark to development.
Furthermore, the political leaders appreciated Imran Khan for attending the conference, setting aside his political differences.
The prominent among those who attended the meeting included PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq, Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chief Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Rashid Godail, National Party (NP) chief Mir Hasil Bazinjo, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Mushahid Hussain Syed, Ejazul Haq, federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Pervaiz Rashid, JUI-F’s Akram Khan Durrani, KP Governor Mehtab Abbasi, all four chief ministers, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) prime minister, PML -N leaders, Raja Zafarul Haq, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Pir Sabir Shah, Ameer Muqam and PTI leaders Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Jahangir Tareen.
The meeting agenda was not distributed in the meeting which was briefed by the Peshawar corps commander. The meeting also offered fateha for the school children, teachers, staff and security officials who were martyred in Tuesday’s attack.
IT’S TIME TO FIGHT BACK:
Addressing the parliamentary leaders’ meeting, PM Sharif thanked political leaders for keeping aside their differences and sitting together for deliberating on a national cause. He also invited the attention of the parliamentary leaders for effective legislation to ensure early conclusion of cases involving terrorists and criminals. Without addressing this issue, terrorism cannot be defeated, he said.
Expressing the resolve to take the fight against terrorism to its logical conclusion, the premier said that there was no more room to back out from the Jihad against terrorism.
“No discrimination would be done between ‘good Taliban’ and ‘bad Taliban’ as they are all enemies of the country and devoted to harm humanity,” PM Sharif made it clear, expressing deep grief over the Peshawar tragedy.
The premier recalled that the government started dialogue with militants after evolving consensus of all political parties. However, the government was left with no other option but to launch military operation against terrorists due to their intransigence.
The prime minister stressed that Operation Zarb-e-Azb was successfully moving forward and hoped that there would be peace in the country on its conclusion.
Sharif said that the recent visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Pakistan had opened a new era of joint efforts to defeat terrorism. Both countries had agreed to not allow their soil to be used by terrorists, he added.
MEET THE PRESS:
Later on, addressing a press conference, the prime minister read out the unanimous resolution of the national political leadership. Other political leaders were also present on the occasion.
Replying to questions, the premier said that the plan under consideration included strengthening the intelligence network. He said that a few terrorists have run towards Afghanistan and both the countries’ armed forces would chase and eliminate them.
To another question, the premier said that there was no issue which could not be resolved through talks.
Sharif said that he had invited PTI chief Imran Khan over tea and he wanted to further the process of democracy in the country. He added that the government had written a letter to the Supreme Court for the formation of a judicial commission on Khan’s demand.
KHAN JOINS IN:
Addressing the joint press conference, PTI Chairman Imran Khan said he was not having “ego issues” with the government but was struggling for the supremacy of democracy in the country.
Khan made it clear to the nation that the issue between his party and the government had been set aside and for now they were standing together against the Peshawar attack.
The PTI chief said that if a commission was formed to investigate the rigging, the issue could be settled as he had no personal enmity with the Sharifs.