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PESHAWAR: A 13-member group of diplomats of different countries called on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak here on Monday to condole the death of 142 students of Army Public School (APS), Peshawar.

They expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives of the students and other people in the act of terrorism and discussed other matters of mutual interests with the chief minister, said a handout.

Thanking the foreign ambassadors for the sympathies shown by their respective states over the APS tragedy, the chief minister said that international community should come forward and help out the provincial government, which was already striving for a sustainable transformation in the province.

Mr Khattak told the delegation that all activities for combating terrorism were being carried out jointly by the government, army, intelligence agencies and law enforcing agencies. He said that they were working together as a team for maintaining law and order as well as writ of the government.

The chief minister said that the apex committee of the province proved effective in implementing the joint strategy chalked out for combating terrorism. He said that the provincial government was following one point agenda of ‘change’. “Under this agenda, a series of reforms have been initiated to root out the menace of corruption from all provincial government departments,” he added.

Appreciate the resolve of nation against terrorism

Mr Khattak said that comprehensive laws were enacted by the government to implement those reforms effectively that included Right to Information Act and establishment of an independent Ehtisab (Accountability) Commission. He claimed that the reforms were yielding the desired results.

Mr Khattak said that all initiatives of the government were focused on poor and downtrodden people of the province while on the other hand the mighty and influential land, timber and drugs mafias were taken to task.

He told the diplomats that unlike previous governments, the present government in the province was concentrating on changing the system instead of raising buildings and bridges. He said that the task of building infrastructure and provision of civic amenities together with health and education sectors was entrusted to the local bodies’ institutions which would be elected very soon.

Mr Khattak briefed the delegation about the electricity generation, industrialisation and provision of food items at subsidised rates and other initiatives of the government.

The members of the foreign diplomats offered cooperation of their respective governments to the provincial government in promotion of primary education.

The group of ambassadors also called on IGP Nasir Khan Durrani at Central Police Office to get themselves apprised of the steps taken for control of crimes, terrorism and capacity building of the police force.

The delegation was briefed on the current law and order situation of the province and the multi-faceted structural and institutional reforms carried out by police during the last year.

The delegation was informed that during the past year police had undertaken a variety of structural and institutional reforms aimed at modernisation and capacity building of the force to enable the department to cope with daunting security challenges.

The members of the delegation praised the courage and valour of the officials of the department. They paid rich tributes to those personnel of the force who were killed in the line of duty.

APP adds: A 15-member group of ambassadors and High Commissioners from friendly countries on Monday visited Peshawar Army Public School and met with the students and staff.

The delegation laid a wreath at ‘Yadgar-i-Shuhada’ and expressed solidarity with the bereaved families, said a press release of Inter Services Public Relations. The visiting dignitaries also appreciated the nation’s resolve against terrorism.

The delegates visited corps headquarters and called on Corps Commander Lt Gen Hidayatur Rehman. They were briefed on Operation Zarb-i-Azb, early return of temporarily displaced persons and different development projects undertaken by army in Fata.

The delegation included the ambassadors of Argentina, Azerbaijan, Austria, Bosnia, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, South Africa, Sweden, Tajikistan and Ukraine.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2015

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