PESHAWAR - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday his government is making a new law as well as taking practical steps for improving quality of law enforcement to curb terrorism as restoration of peace is their topmost priority.
To effectively counter terrorism, there is need to have special counter terrorism force along with a strong intelligence network, he said, urging the provinces to also take practical steps in this regard.
The law enforcement agencies will be fully equipped to deal with terrorism and those involved in terrorism will be brought to justice, he vowed, as he talked with the affected families of recent blasts in Peshawar and later with media persons at Governor House here.
The PM expressed profound grief and sorrow over the death of innocent people in the Qissa Khwani bazaar and bus bomb blasts and prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls.
He said the proposed law would put an end to the lacunas in the existing laws that go in favour of the accused and because of which they succeed in securing bail from court and then go scot-free. He said where security systems are weak there extraordinary laws and decisions have to be taken to put things on the right track.
The prime minister said in the prevailing atmosphere of high insecurity and faced with life threats from terrorists, even judges shy from taking right decisions in cases of terrorism. He cited an example where a magistrate decided in favour of a terror accused despite availability of witness against him.
Prime Minister Nawaz arrived on a day-long visit to Peshawar to review law and order situation in the province, particularly in Peshawar. He was received by Governor Shaukatullah and Chief Minister Pervez Khattak. Those present at the Governor House included Adviser to Premier on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sirtaj Aziz, Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan, Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid, PML N Secretary General Iqbal Zafar Jahagra and PMLN leader Sardar Mehtab Ahmed.
The prime minister presided over a meeting on law and order situation at the Governor House. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nasir Durrani briefed the Premier. Besides, governor and CM, Corps Commander Peshawar Lt-Gen Khalid Rabani, IG Frontier Corps, Maj-Gen Gahyur Mehmood, KPK chief secretary and other concerned officials also attended the briefing.
Regarding Karachi operation, the PM said the operation was yielding positive results. He said that his government has decided to hold talks with the militants to avoid more bloodshed in the country. He said the government was very much serious in taking forward the peace process and is sincere to exercise the option of negotiation for which the government has been mandated by the All Parties Conference.
Nawaz criticised the previous governments for not taking terrorism. Had this problem was taken seriously by the previous government the situation would not have gone intractable today, he said. The PM said progress cannot be achieved without a stable economy and it required resolving the energy crisis and addressing the terrorism issue to get tangible results.
“Without peace, we cannot materialise the dream of development, create employment opportunities, and construct roads, hospitals and schools,“ the Premier said. To attract home and foreign investment, rooting out terrorism and addressing energy crisis was of paramount importance. He was optimistic that there would be no loadshedding in the country after five years. He said his government was exploring all means to generate inexpensive electricity from solar, hydel, coal and wind sources.
During a meeting with a delegation of Christian community at the Governor House, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also announced Rs200 million fund for a trust to be set up by Christian community to rehabilitate victims of devastating suicide bomb blasts at All Saints Church on September 22 which claimed 83 precious lives and injured 140 persons. He elaborated that the provincial government of KPK would inject an amount of Rs100 million for the trust while the remaining amount will be provided by the federal government.
The representative of Christian community apprised the prime minister about formation of the proposed trust and the problems of the affected families of the blast victims. A community representative told prime minister that most of the church blast victims were poor who were facing great difficulties to get proper treatment. Majority of the victims have become disabled and their families urgently require financial support to mitigate their sufferings, they said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the occasion announced that a fund of Rs 200 million will be allocated for the proposed Trust to be formed for the help of victims.
He elaborated that the provincial government of KPK would inject an amount of Rs 100 million for the Trust while the remaining amount will be provided by federal government.
Earlier, the Prime Minister expressed his strong condemnation over the recent bomb blasts in Peshawar.
He said it is very deplorable that people from every section of life are being targeted by terrorists. However, he hastened to add, government has taken the resolve of taking all possible steps for the safety and security of the people.
Restoration of peace is top most priority of the present government and effective legislation is on the anvil for elimination of terrorism. No compromise would be made on peace in the country, he added.
The Prime Minister held out assurance of full support and protection to minorities. He said people belonging to every school of thought are important for him because he is the Prime Minister of Pakistan and not of a single group of people.
He said rights of minorities would be fully protected and there will be no discrimination with them.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister KPK, Pervez Khattak said the provincial government has enhanced security of worship places of minorities.
The government, he added, is providing foolproof security to minority community in the province.