ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif Tuesday discussed the overall security situation in the country with specific reference to the ongoing surgical strikes against the militants in tribal areas, who were responsible for attacks on civilian and military personnel across the country.

Sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting told The Nation that Prime Minister Sharif was of the view that any decision on launching an operation against the militants continuously defying the writ of the government would be taken after consultations with all the stakeholders, including the Parliament and the mainstream political parties.

The fresh offer of dialogue coming from Tehreek-e-Taliban Paksitan(TTP) also came under discussion at the meeting. Both of them were of the viewpoint that those defying the writ of the government and attacking the innocent civilians and military personnel and installations would not be spared, however, those desirous of sitting on the negotiation table and ready to for dialogue within the parameters of the Constitution would be engaged in the parlays.

The sources said Premier Sharif was all praise for the armed forces for their matchless sacrifices in the ongoing war on terror and made it clear that the whole nation was united against militancy which is destroying the very fabric of the nation.

They said the army chief also briefed the premier on the border situation and the armed forces’ preparedness to handle any eventuality. They further said the ongoing operation against the miscreants in Karachi also figured in the meeting and both the leaders expressed satisfaction over the pace of the operation and the targets achieved so far.

Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Parvez Khattak on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discussed various contentious matters between the Centre and the province, particularly, payment of royalty of hydel power generation in the province.

The sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting, also attended by Senior Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister Sirajul Haq and Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, said both the sides discussed issues in a cordial atmosphere and Prime Minister Sharif assured the KPK chief minister of early solution to these pending problems. The sources further said the prime minister had also lauded the sacrifices made by the people of KPK in the war on terror and said it was the most affected province. He stressed the need for the national unity in facing the challenges confronting the country. He renewed the government’s commitment to stamp out terrorism from the country.

The sources revealed Chief Minister Pervez Khattak also demanded the replacement of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) Chief Tariq Sadozai. The KPK government has been protesting the prolonged power outages and terming Sadozai the real troublemaker in the province. Khattak also complained against the attitude of Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali.

Meanwhile, matters relating to terrorism, negotiations with TTP, other regional issues and blockade of Nato supplies to Afghanistan via Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were also discussed.

LOAN SCHEME TO PROVIDE IMPETUS TO ECONOMY, PM Tells MNAs: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the PML-N government wanted to put Pakistan on the road to progress by implementing objective policies.

Talking to MNAs from Faisalabad here at the Prime Minister’s House on Tuesday, he said Pakistan would start galloping down the road of development if the law and order situation improved.

The prime minister said the Youth Business Loan Scheme would provide further impetus to the economy as thousands of youth would benefit from it. The enthusiasm shown by youth for this scheme was a positive sign. “We need to guide them so that they can use the loans efficiently and effectively,” the PM added. The PM said most of the applicants had sought loans for agriculture sector projects, which was a sign of the booming agriculture industry in Pakistan.

The prime minister said GSP Plus status to Pakistan was a special incentive to the textile industry of Faisalabad, but in order to benefit from it, power shortage needed to be resolved. While discussing the matter of upgrading the airport in Faisalabad, the PM said the private sector should be associated with its construction through public-private partnership.

Addressing the demand of construction of technical education institutions, the PM said, “Pakistan is gifted with manpower and we need to utilise it through technical skill.” The members also discussed the scarcity of medical facilities in their areas. The PM assured them of looking into the matter, adding the government policy was to provide medical facilities to all parts of the country. About completion of development schemes, the prime minister said, “We have made an oversight committee which is prioritising development projects. The schemes which are beneficial to the community at large will be completed.”