ISLAMABAD: In order to deal with the menace of terrorism, the government has decided on a major policy shift under which attacks from militants would be met with an appropriate military response, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Formally unveiling the document of the country’s national security policy in the House, Nisar said the direction was agreed upon unanimously, adding that the government had consulted with all political forces for its formation.
The minister said only the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had assisted the government in policy formation and thanked the party for its recommendations. Nisar further said that none of the provinces had contributed to policy formation.
Nisar said developing a political consensus was imperative to deal with terrorism, adding that it was not appropriate to score points on the issue when it was not just peace but the state's existence at stake.
Emphasising that the country's political forces should be wary of developing differences on the issue, Nisar said if the state failed to establish peace, little else would matter.
Saying the issue was complicated and its resolution not easy, Nisar said the Parliament should have a single opinion on terrorism.
He urged that instead of being critical of the government, political forces should assist the government in dealing with the issue which had assumed gargantuan proportions.
Nisar said statements issued by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan should not be accorded much importance, adding that it was not a good idea to give space to the TTP’s points of view on each and every issue.
He said the policy document would be handed out to the parliamentarians and appealed that they stand by the government in ensuring security across the country.
He said the policy would be improved step by step and its implementation and effectiveness would be reviewed during the next six months.
The minister said the 100-page policy document comprised of three parts, one of which was secret.
PM says no ambiguity on security policy
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended the National Assembly proceedings on Wednesday during which he said that there was no ambiguity regarding the security policy.
Our approach is well thought-out but the policy is not the final word and any good suggestion in this regard would be welcomed.
Moreover, Sharif assured the opposition that all matters would be jointly resolved.
Appreciating the earlier speech of Leader of the Opposition, Syed Khurshid Shah, he said the government was not in a state on confusion and the nation had been informed of every progress on the dialogue process between the government and Taliban mediating committees.
Sharif also said that the atmosphere in the house today was much better than from 20- 25 years ago.
Earlier, Shah of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had said that all political parties supported the government over the issue of tackling terrorism and asked the government to announce a clear-cut policy over the matter.
He further said that although the decision to hold talks with the Taliban was taken in the All Party Conference (APC), no one was taken into confidence during the negotiation process.
However, Shah also said that no step that may compromise the country's territorial integrity would be taken.