Islamabad - A Friday meeting of military and civilian leadership of the country suspected involvement of ‘foreign hand’ in recent terrorist incidents, particularly those occurring in Peshawar, indicating that spy agencies have so far failed to even find credible leads on these incidents which claimed more than 100 lives.
There was no official word on the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez kayani and director generals of ISI and MI.
However, informed sources said the participants took stock of country’s overall security and government strategy to engage Taliban in peace talks in the light of the decisions of All Parties Conference (APC). The meeting also reviewed the ongoing-targeted operation in Karachi and expressed firm resolve that criminals would be tracked down across the board without any political pressure and consideration.
Sources said that General Kayani and other senior military officials briefed the prime minister about the security situation in the country and gave detailed account of the recent terrorist incidents in Peshawar and their internal and external dimensions. They told the meeting that security agencies were still investigating these incidents and would soon apprise the PM about their findings.
The meeting also discussed at length Taliban claims that they had no hand in the Peshawar Church suicide bombings and the one that occurred in the Khyber Bazar of Peshawar city. Sources said the meeting was of the firm view that possibility of foreign hand in the recent terrorist incidents should not be ruled out, particularly after Taliban denials.
The prime minister directed the military officials to carry out in-depth probe into these incidents so that no gray areas were left about the involvement of the ‘hidden hands’. The military leadership assured the Premier that no stone would be left unturned in exposing the elements responsible for these attacks and those involved in hindering the government efforts to reach out to the victims of recent earthquake in Balochistan.
The interior minister also briefed the meeting about targeted operation in the port city. Nisar also apprised the meeting of government efforts to engage Taliban in peace talks and his interactions with Wifaqul Maddaris Pakistan, which offered volunteer mediation between the government and the Taliban. The minister was of the view that since it was a complicated issue, the government was trying its utmost that talks with Taliban bear fruit.
The meeting reiterated its firm resolve that peace be given a chance without compromising basic principles. The prime minister made it clear that no one should consider the peace talks offer as government’s weakness. Separately, outgoing Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) Gen Khalid Shamim Wynne, who is retiring on October 8, paid a farewell call on the prime minister on Friday. The PM lauded his services for the country.