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LAHORE, Aug 30: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was briefed on Friday on the counter terrorism department the Punjab government is planning to constitute.

The prime minister sought a comprehensive operational plan from the Punjab government to curb terrorism 'at the earliest’.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Water and Power Minister Khwaja Asif, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and other senior officials were also present during the briefing.

Lifting ban on recruitments in law enforcement agencies, the premier said a Counter Terrorism Force should be raised immediately in the province and the recruitment process must start within 10 days.

“I have serious concerns regarding the capacity of civilian law enforcement agencies to detect and fight militancy,” the prime minister was quoted as saying.

He said the federal government would assist provincial government’s Counter Terrorism Force (CTF) in all possible ways, including the provision of call data information. He stressed the training imparted to personnel of the CTF must match army’s standards and that de-radicalisation must also be made a part of the comprehensive counter terrorism strategy.

It is learnt that the Punjab government does not want a full-fledged department for countering terrorism and is rather interested in establishing a wing in the police department to work like operation, investigation, special branch and traffic wings already working under the inspector general of police.

An official claims in fact the Crime Investigation Depart-ment (CID) has been converted into CTD or Counter Terrorism Department with headquarters at Chuhng police training centre.

He claims the CTD has also managed to arrest some militants by using the call tracing facility. The CTD is working under an additional IG, who reportedly reports directly to the chief minister.

Motorway: The China State Construction Company has started a feasibility study of the proposed Karachi-Lahore motorway.

Company MD Li Ji Qin told the premier at a briefing here on Friday that the CSCC had launched the study on its own expenses as a technical assistance to the Pakistan government, says a PID press release.

He said his company had recently constructed a 600km motorway in Congo and would be able to construct the Karachi-Lahore motorway in three years.

The prime minister requested Mr Qin to reduce the three-year time by making construction consortiums for the project. He desired the project should be completed in less than two and a half years.

The meeting was also attended by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, secretary communications, NHA chairman and other senior officials.