ISLAMABAD: Prime Minis­ter Nawaz Sharif has set up a committee to oversee the implementation of the National Action Plan, which was worked out two days ago with the consensus of all political parties represented in parliament to tackle terrorism and militancy.

He also took notice of minorities’ complaints and said that strict action would be taken against those found involved in forced conversions and marriages of girls from minority communities.

Presiding over a consultative meeting on Friday, Mr Sharif said he would himself oversee the enforcement of the action plan.

Says committed to zero tolerance; stresses need to protect minorities, fight sectarianism

Headed by the prime minister, the committee consists of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif, Infor­mation Minister Pervez Rasheed, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch and Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security.

“As we assembled here to follow up on the progress on our counter-terrorism policy, let me remind each one of us that we shall not let the memory of the Peshawar carnage fade until we wipe out terrorists from Pakis­tan,” Mr Sharif said.

He said that national consensus reached on Dec 24 would guide the roadmap to fight the scourge of terrorism.

“Pakistan today is a changed country and there is a new resolve to weed out terror from the motherland,” he said.

“To me, zero tolerance is zero tolerance. Violence against my people in any form equals terror and our polity and our army is very clear on this: we shall come down hard on it,” the prime minister added.

He directed the attorney general to hold consultations with political leaders to bring about legal and constitutional amendments needed to ensure the plan’s implementation. He also said that Operation Zarb-i-Azb against terrorists hiding in the tribal areas, as well as those taking refuge in cities, was a turning point in the country’s history.

The PM said he would like to receive frequent updates from the provincial governments on implementation of the action plan and would visit all provinces to oversee the work himself. He was hopeful of success because the plan enjoyed the support of the country’s political leadership.

He directed the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank to choke the sources of funding for terrorists.

Mr Sharif said that there was no turning back now in the fight against terrorism, adding that an anti-terrorism force would soon be raised under the supervision of the defence ministry .

He said the role of police and other law enforcement agencies was critical in eliminating terrorism. He called for banning hate material that promoted militancy and sectarianism.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2014


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