Distinction between good, bad Taliban no more: PM

Published December 18, 2014
KARACHI: Children hold lit candles here on Wednesday for the victims of the Taliban attack on an army-run school in Peshawar. —AFP
KARACHI: Children hold lit candles here on Wednesday for the victims of the Taliban attack on an army-run school in Peshawar. —AFP

PESHAWAR: A day after the terrorist attack on an army-run school, the country’s political leadership joined hands here on Wednesday and decided to set up a committee to work out a national action plan for countering terrorism.

“The committee will submit its plan within a week which will be discussed with all stakeholders, including the army, before implementation,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced at a joint press conference at the Governor’s House after presiding over a meeting of the leaders of parliamentary parties.

The tragedy brought the political leadership to a single platform to demonstrate political magnanimity and unity for a national cause. The prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, who attended the meeting, agreed to steer the country out of the political crisis through dialogue.

Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Sirajul Haq, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Asfandyar Wali Khan, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Maqbool Ahmad Siddiqui, Mir Hasil Bizenjo, former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan, four chief ministers, federal ministers and parliamentarians attended the conference which lasted more than four hours.

Reading out a joint declaration adopted by the meeting, the prime minister termed the massacre of students and teachers a big “human tragedy” and said the terrorists had carried out the barbaric attack when they were on the run because of the Zarb-i-Azb military operation. He said the political leadership had shunned their differences and united for a national cause.


Body set up to formulate plan for countering terrorism; Sharif, Imran agree to resolve issues through dialogue


“There will be no distinction between good and bad Taliban. The nation will continue this war with full resolve till elimination of the last terrorist,” Mr Sharif said, adding that the political leadership owned war against terrorists and the proposed national action plan would be implemented in letter and spirit.

He said terrorists had fled to Afghanistan after the military operation was launched in North Waziristan, adding that the two countries would take joint action against militants.

He said he and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had agreed that militants would not be allowed to use their countries’ territories for terrorism.

According to the joint declaration, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will head the committee which will have one representative of each party. The action plan will be made public after its approval by the government.

The prime minister was flanked by Imran Khan and Khursheed Shah at the press conference. When Mr Sharif entered the main hall, along with parliamentary leaders, Senator Mushahid Hussain of the PML-Q asked the PTI chief to take a seat next to the premier.

The conference provided Mr Sharif and Mr Khan an opportunity to break the ice after more than three months of standoff between their parties over allegations of rigging in last year’s general elections.

“I have invited Imran Sahab for a cup of tea and he should also invite me,” the prime minister said with a smile on his face when asked when the political impasse would end.

He said he had also announced the formation of a judicial commission to look into the allegations of poll rigging. “All issues will be tackled jointly and, that too, to the satisfaction of Imran Khan,” he said, adding that the Supreme Court had already announced its verdict in this regard.

Imran Khan said he had started the protest movement for the sake of democracy and the country because every political party had complained about rigging in elections.

When he said he would go to his container in Islamabad after the conference and offer funeral prayers in absentia for those who had lost their lives in the school attack, the prime minister promptly said he would have also gone to the container along with Imran Khan had he (premier) not to go to the hospital to inquire after the health of the injured.

“I have no personal grievances with the government; I started the movement for a national cause,” the PTI chief explained. He said he had assured Mr Sharif from day one that he would support the government against terrorism.

He said terrorism was a national issue and all political parties were united and assured the prime minister of their full support. He said all political parties would own the proposed national plan.

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2014

Opinion

Editorial

Mianwali raid
Updated 02 Feb, 2023

Mianwali raid

The military needs to share intelligence with civilian agencies to neutralise the militant menace nationwide.
Corruption unlimited
02 Feb, 2023

Corruption unlimited

PAKISTAN’S consistent slide on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index over the last several...
Women police officers
02 Feb, 2023

Women police officers

IN a heartening development, a second female police officer has been appointed as DPO in Attock, weeks after the...
Road to perdition
Updated 01 Feb, 2023

Road to perdition

This is also the time of reckoning for those who sowed the seeds of a disastrous policy against militants.
Transport tragedies
01 Feb, 2023

Transport tragedies

TWO tragedies over the weekend illustrate the weak protocols governing the safety of transport in Pakistan. In fact,...
Disqualifying Jam Awais
01 Feb, 2023

Disqualifying Jam Awais

IT appears that there may be some kind of small punishment after all for PPP lawmaker Jam Awais, who was pardoned ...