ISLAMABAD - Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed on Monday condemned the attack at Jinnah International Airport Karachi and praised the Pak Army, Rangers and Airport Security Force (ASF) for taking quick action against terrorists who attacked the airport with heavy weapons on late Sunday night.

Rasheed paid tribute to the martyrs who lost their lives in this attack. He said those who planned and funded the militants did not belong to Pakistan.

Talking to media persons after attending the event on the eve of sending off Pakistan's mountaineering expedition to K2, the minister said terrorists wanted to paralyse Pakistan through attack on the country's largest airport. The government will reply the terrorists in the same way, he added. Rasheed said that airport is functional after killing of the terrorists and is cleared by the security forces.

Earlier, Information Minster and Counsellor Tommaso Sansone, deputy head of the Italian mission, handed over Pakistani and Italian flags to the Pakistani mountaineers at the NPC.

Speaking on the occasion, Senator Pervaiz Rashid said, "We have the best mountains and we are thankful to our foreign friends who not only love our mountains but put their efforts to mainstream and popularise them in their countries. Our special thanks to Italians who have special love for K2 for the last 100 years."

The minister said, "Unfortunately we could not support our own expedition because it was really a resource intensive but grateful to Italian friends who took initiative and have supported very generously eight mountaineers from the most neglected part of Pakistan - Gilgit-Baltistan."

President Ev-K2-CNR Agostino Da Polenza said K2 is the best brand that can uplift Pakistan's image. He said, "Pakistani people are very hardworking; they only lack resources that we the Italians are trying to provide the locals to help them do the best for land and available resources. We are also inculcating awareness on the conservation of the local natural resources."