National Apex Committee resolved zero tolerance against terrorism

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ISLAMABAD: The National Apex Committee Friday resolved zero tolerance against terrorism and decided to eliminate it root and branch with utmost resolve.

The committee met at the Prime Minister’s House with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair.

Federal ministers including Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, minister for law, chief ministers of all the four provinces including Gilgit-Baltistan, prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, COAS Gen Asim Muneer, heads of sensitive civil and military institutions, senators, federal secretary, all chief secretaries, IGs of police, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad and National Coordinator of Nacta also participated in the meeting. Incidents of terrorism, especially Peshawar Police Lines bombing and Feb 19 attack on the Karachi Police Chief’s Office and the subsequent situation, came under a detailed review.

Representatives of security institutions briefed the committee on the overall security situation and operations against terrorists.

Inspector General Police Sindh informed the committee about the attack on the Karachi Police Chief’s office. The meeting paid tribute to the martyred officers and jawans and saluted all the law enforcement agencies, including the armed forces, Rangers, FC, CTD and police, for showing unprecedented bravery against terrorism across the country.

The meeting deliberated on the issue of unavailability of funds sanctioned in the past for the Karachi police and security and directed that the obstacles in the way of completion of all projects related to police, CTD and security should be removed without delay.

The meeting observed that national security and protection of life and property of the people was the basic constitutional duty which had to be performed with national spirit, sincerity, focus and best ability.

It was decided that the federation will provide full assistance to the provinces in fulfilling their law and order obligations.

The meeting deliberated on the role of the media, especially the social media, during the terrorist incidents and operations of security forces.

The meeting was briefed that during the operation of security forces, the information was also broadcast on the media from which terrorists and their facilitators could take advantage and there could be effects on the security operation, which could affect the lives of the officers and personnel conducting the operation.

It was recommended to be guided by ‘SOPs’ and regulations on cyberspace and terrorism prevalent in other countries.

In this context, appropriate procedures should be formulated in consultation with the media houses and all relevant stakeholders so that in an emergency situation, no problems were created for the security operatives with the prevention of rumours, misleading information and creating fear among the public.

The meeting also decided that a focal person should be assigned the responsibility to provide facts to the media and public in an emergency situation.

The meeting reviewed the progress in the implementation of the National Action Plan and the decisions taken in the previous meeting.

The committee under the chairmanship of Federal Minister of Law and Justice Senator Azam Tarar informed the meeting about the progress on measures to make the stages of investigation, prosecution and punishment against terrorists effective.

The meeting agreed that elimination of terrorism, economic recovery and political stability were interlinked.

It was resolved that Pakistan could not afford internal instability and national unity and collective struggle was the need of the hour.

It was agreed in the meeting that in order to achieve these goals, a national consensus should be created and obstacles should be removed.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday said political stability was linked with economic stability and hence was inevitable for the country’s economic growth.

“Unfortunately, a particular political faction is taking to the streets creating instability,” he said while addressing a review meeting on the National Action Plan.

“On the other hand, the coalition partners have put their political capital on stake for sake of the homeland. It is our paramount responsibility to play our role in course correction for progress and development of the people of Pakistan and we accept this responsibility,” he said.

Shehbaz expressed the confidence that Pakistan will soon come out of the prevailing economic crisis.

The prime minister hoped that the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will materialize soon.

Acknowledging Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism, he said around 83,000 people had laid down their lives for eradication of this menace. He said the security forces were determined to maintain peace and stability in the country.

Shehbaz said the National Action Plan (NAP) was formed after the attack on the Army Public School and all allies were united on the plan during Nawaz Sharif’s tenure.

He said after the Peshawar tragedy, there was an incident of terrorism in Karachi as well. He said this was the second meeting of the Apex Committee after the Peshawar tragedy.

He said everyone was invited to participate in this meeting but despite that a political party did not consider it appropriate to participate in the meeting. “Even today, they wish that matters should be resolved on the streets,” he added.

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