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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain — File Photo
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain. — File photo

PESHAWAR, Jan 4: The strength of militants has increased so alarmingly that now, they can reach anywhere they want to carry out their activities, said provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain on Friday.

“The time has come to take the final decision on whether to hold dialogue with militants or to begin a meaningful operation against them,” the minister told the provincial assembly on a point of order about the recent acts of militancy, especially the killing of seven aid workers, including six women, in Swabi.

Mr Hussain said a lot had been spoken in condemnation of militant attacks and therefore, it was direly needed to take militancy to its logical end.

He said there were two options with the government either to hold dialogue with militants and if it was not possible, then the second option was intensive operation against them.

The minister said all political parties and security agencies should get together to make an effective strategy before the government held dialogue with militants or went for operation against them.

He said former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif had favoured the stand of ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, who pushed the country’s political leadership for taking decisive steps against militancy.

He urged the leadership of other political groups to come forward for ending the evil of militancy forever.

Mr Hussain said militancy had increased in the province so dangerously that all other issues had become non-issues.

He said assassination of vaccinators and aid workers in the province, assault on Bacha Khan International Airport, assassination of minister Bashir Bilour and the kidnapping and subsequent killing of Levies personnel in a short span of time showed how strong militants had grown.

Speaking on a point of order, MPA Yasmeen Nazli Jaseem demanded government jobs for the relatives of the women aid workers killed in Swabi.

She said she had visited the houses of those workers and found their houses in dilapidated condition with families leading miserable life.

“All of the slain women were the sole breadwinners of their respective families,” she said.

Elementary and secondary education minister Sardar Hussain Babak told the House that the establishment department was creating hurdles to the appointment of senior teachers to Grade 16 and above.

“Unfortunately, the officials at the establishment department don’t realise the need for teachers at government schools,” he said, while responding to a question put by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl MPA Syed Janan about the shortage of teachers in Hangu.

The minister said his department had taken action against the teachers getting salary without performing duty.

He said the revival of the old system of governance after the enforcement of Local Government Act, 2012 would help expedite the appointment of teachers to schools in the province.

MPA Janan demanded that the government treat all districts justly over the reconstruction of schools hit by militancy and floods. He complained that such schools were rebuilt in Swat, Buner and Lower Dir districts only.

Another JUI-F lawmaker Mufti Kifayatullah and PML-N MPA Barrister Javed Abbasi showered praise on assassinated provincial minister Bashir Bilour for his bravery against militants. They declared Mr Bilour’s death tragic and a national loss.

Also, deputy speaker Khushdil Khan, MPAs Atifur Rehman, Mufti Syed Janan and law minister Arshid Abdullah spoke on the prolonged power outages in the province and said the suspension of electric supply for 12 to 20 hours a day was an injustice to the people.

Comments (20) Closed

Lakhkar Khan Jan 07, 2013 07:32pm
Who needs friends who are just there for good times, not there when you need them.
Aqil Siddiqi Jan 05, 2013 07:46am
No dialogue, just start killing them, each and every one of them. Pakistanis are sick and tired of living a life in fear and misery, just because of these good for nothing militants. If no action be taken soon, you watch, they will be the reason for Pakistan's disintegeration. It's becoming a joke now. We are the laughing stock of the world right now. Don't we have any shame. Aqil Siddiqi
Imran Jan 05, 2013 10:22am
Wow, he finally realises it. Thank God.
gangadin Jan 05, 2013 10:53am
Advice to all concerned: Sit down with them, consider them equal human beings and vacate their land. This will be a good starting point unless you are ready for a civil war and division of Pakistan along Indus.
Edwardian Jan 05, 2013 12:14pm
What a sorry face! Ask the minister, why he and his government failed in last five years. Why they only relied on the Army. Why didn't they develop and upgrade their own police. Lately kidnapping and slaughtering of 21 levies speaks ill preparedness of KP government's fight against terrorism. Reportedly, the levies only had three rifles to protect themselves. This is sheer negligence and a crime committed by the government. Ask the minister that who is responsible for this serious neglect and would the officials be punished?
JP Jan 05, 2013 01:29pm
The message of the millitants is clear. They don't believe in any democratic institutions and they feel obliged and justified to hijack the system in the name of Islam. I dont think there is any way to communicate with such people who knows only the message of violence.
Afzal K Jan 05, 2013 02:00pm
To negotiate with terrorists tantamounts to surrender.To preserve the writ of the state, conduct a major operation, especially elimination of terrorists leadership.
Agha Ata (USA) Jan 05, 2013 02:45pm
It surprises me when educated people like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain ask government to hold dialogue with militants. Who have time and time again declared that their precondition for the dialogue is that the government accept SHARIA (of their version) and enforce it in Pakistan . . . meaning all women imprisoned inside the houses, no schools for women, no barber shops, no videos, no music,no games ... and dozens of other restrictions . . . before they would even consider having a dialogue of any kind. These are the conditions that even our corrupt politicians won
andy fr dc Jan 05, 2013 04:34pm
Pakistan reaps what is has sown. It will get much worse when Pakistan is left alone and friendless in 2014. No doubt the Paks will find some else to blame it all on.
Thoughtful Jan 05, 2013 05:46pm
You want to negotiate with these inhuman savage creatures? What a pathetic thought! Eliminate all of them (leaders as well as foot soldiers) by all your might and force (if you have any).
Cyrus Howell Jan 05, 2013 06:58pm
"Militants can strike at will, admits KP govt." We know that. The question is what are the root causes of their attacks?
Cyrus Howell Jan 05, 2013 06:59pm
I think it is the Sharifs and the Army who want to negotiate.
Kamal Hussain Jan 05, 2013 07:59pm
Option 1: Dialog The Taliban do not make deals; they are Pushtoons, they abide by the Pakthuwali code of conduct (similar to Bushido code of the Japanese). Commnetator Agha Ata is absolutey right. For any meaningful dialog, rulers of Pakistan must accept the preconditions set by the Taliban and listed by Mr. Ata. Option 2: Military Operation Talking of undertaking "major operations" per Minister Iftikhar Hussain or "eliminating all of them" per commentator 'Thoughtful' is empty talk. If the US military, the most powerful army in the world, armed with the most advanced military technology, cannot subdue the Taliban, how is the Pakistan army going to do it? Solution: Cooperate or Perish Only a tri-lateral operation that includes Pakistan, Iran and the US can succeed. People in Pakistan and Iran hate the US. The truth is that only the US military has the military hardware and prowess to do the job; it ws stymied in Afghanistan because Pakistan has been aiding the Afghan Taliban for geopolitcal reasons. Shiite Iran is not helping at all in spite of routine attacks by the Taliban on Hazara Shias and Twelfth-er Shias in Afghanistan and Pakistan; Iranians are hampered by all the sanctions imposed on them by the US for their pursuit of nuclear weapons. It is high time Pakistanis and Iranians realize that they are facing an existential threat from the militants and they must cooperate with the US
Amir Saeed Jan 05, 2013 08:17pm
Imran Jan 05, 2013 09:33pm
Dont worry. We've been alone and friendless before. Nothing new. We'll be fine. Just watch.
syed baqar ahsan Jan 06, 2013 04:41am
My GOD! I am totally surprised to read my&others comments after 24 hours, not single reader has approved and disapproved my commented.I have mentioned the real problem within there until & unless we address that seriously peace will never return,it is a total compromised state of affairs,snakes are up in sleeve.
syed baqar ahsan Jan 06, 2013 04:53am
until & unless we do not watch and observe each other we cannot succeeded,the real problem is blind trust that is being seriously misused by those who are involved in double game.Could be at any level in governance and command structure.Flow of information up and down is lacking,revive that to succeed.
Nazir K Ali Jan 06, 2013 06:23am
This is not something that a sensible man will say considering the present health of the nation. The so-called paper democrats like you have failed Pakistan. Salams
Riaz Jan 06, 2013 06:42am
Till these people, the product of a corrupt and brutal society, started killing the very society of which you too are a part; the entire country was oblivious to the fact, that for decades, this country has had no morals, no ethics, no rules, and no shame. Yes they are evil, but they are also telling you with their guns and bombs; the society that gave them birth is the very cause of their evil.
Abdur Razzaque Jan 09, 2013 06:04am
In fact it is not the militant or the militants action against the corrupt and backbone less govt. and administrations of Pakistan. It is a kind of protest of the frustrated and exploited Pakistani peoples that is ultimately leading them to an aggression!