ISLAMABAD: Staying short of publicly announcing a full-fledge military operation against Taliban militants in Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Monday said the government would take every step to bring peace and stability in the country to save the future generations.
“Without eliminating terrorism and extremism, we cannot place Pakistan on fast track of development,” he said while speaking to the parliamentary party meeting of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) which was held at the PM office.
Sources informed DawnNews that a majority of PML-N parliamentarians supported launching the military offensive against Pakistani Taliban in the meeting while few were still favouring peace talks without majority’s support.
The prime minister said that officers and soldiers of the armed forces laying down their lives were their heroes and their blood would not go in vain.
“We are a peaceful nation and believe in peaceful relations based on respect with all our neighbors including India. We need to begin a new era of peace and stability, which will be beneficial for Pakistan as well as the whole region.”
“We have to rebuild the image of Pakistan as a peace loving country,” said the premier, adding that this can be achieved only through hard work and combined efforts of all stakeholders including parliamentarians, civil society, executive, judiciary and defence forces.
About the issue of law and order and terrorism, he said that situation in Karachi has improved and a 40 per cent decrease in the heinous crimes has been observed which is due to the concerted efforts of government and law enforcement agencies.
“We are going through an extraordinary situation, and this situation demands tough decisions,” he added.
Sharif said the country was facing two major problems; fragile economy and terrorism, adding that on economic front, the government had taken actions which were proving to be fruitful.
He said that economic indicators, despite law and order situation, were positive, adding that a corruption free society and transparent system was the road to progress.
Deliberating upon the energy situation, PM Sharif said that though the problem has not been fully resolved, the power availability was better this year as compared to last year.
Earlier, Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar and Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan briefed the meeting on the economic and security policies of the government.
Dar said that positive government policies have increased the chances of accessing international capital market and all international financial institutions were engaged with Pakistan.
Chaudhry Nisar said that the National Internal Security Policy (NISP) has been devised and would be implemented after approval of the federal cabinet.
Shah urges PM to announce terrorism policy in NA
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said that PM Sharif should give a policy statement regarding the deteriorating law and order situation in the country.
Chairing the joint opposition parliamentary parties meeting, held at the Parliament House, he expressed that it would show the seriousness of the premier if he himself declares the policy to cope with terrorism across the country at the National Assembly's forum.
Sharif has been under criticism from the opposition and media circles for his constant absence from the parliament since his election as the leader of house.
The joint opposition parties staged a walk out from the National Assembly in protest against the prime minister’s unwillingness to attend the session of the lower house of parliament.
They also tabled an adjournment motion to evacuate the PM’s seat due to his prolong absence from the house.
All meetings of PML-N parliamentary group held from time to time during the National Assembly sessions over the past few months were presided over by senior party leader and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Khursheed Shah also informed that opposition parties have some reservations regarding Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO) which should be settled down with mutual understanding otherwise it would create a gap between treasury and opposition benches.
“It was better that the ordinance should have been presented in the National Assembly through proper channel instead of passing an ordinance,” he maintained.