ISLAMABAD: A day after a suicide bomber killed 72 people in a Lahore park, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his address to the nation reiterated Pakistan's "resolve to fight the menace of terrorism till it is rooted out from our society."
"The government’s leniency should not be mistaken for state’s weakness," warned the premier.
The prime minister said that the entire nation is mourning after the terror attack in Lahore.
"We will avenge every last drop of our countrymen's blood," said Nawaz.
He stated that although the armed forces are carrying out Operation Zarb-i-Azb, the fight is not over yet.
Referring to the recent spats of terrorist attacks outside of Pakistan, the premier stated, "Terrorism has become a global threat and the whole world is affected by it."
"In the past three years, the government and security agencies — with national resolve backing them — have reduced terror activities across the country," said Nawaz.
The prime minister elaborated that the country is on "the path of success despite ongoing terror attacks, and the government is on track to make Pakistan the land of happiness and success."
The premier also paid his sincerest condolences to the injured and the families which suffered the loss of their loved ones in the Lahore attack.
Nawaz, however did not explicitly mention the ongoing sit-in at D-Chowk or announce a security operation against militant elements in southern Punjab.
The premier's address comes a day after the horrific suicide attack in Lahore's crowded Gulshan-i-Iqbal park and thousands of protesters breached the Red Zone in the federal capital.
PM cancels visit to Washington
The prime minister on Monday cancelled his visit to Washington to attend the Nuclear Security Summit in the wake of the tragic Lahore terror attack, Radio Pakistan reported.
The delegation will now be led by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi.
High-level security huddle
Nawaz Sharif, while chairing a high-level security meeting in Lahore earlier on Monday, called for more proactive coordination amongst law enforcement and intelligence agencies against terrorism.
He said all provinces must step up intelligence-based operations against terrorists, adding that the goal is not only to eliminate the terror infrastructure but also to get rid of the extremist mindset.
Around 2,000 people are also protesting the execution of Mumtaz Qadri and are staging a sit-in at D-Chowk within the capital's Red Zone.
The demonstration that started early Sunday evening is still underway although the crowd has diminished from 10,000 to around 2,000 protesters.