ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday the government would not allow terrorists to resurface and play with the lives of the people.
“This is my resolve, my government’s resolve, as well as the resolve of 200 million people. Insha Allah, no terrorist can break our will,” the prime minister said in a televised address to the nation.
Mr Sharif was addressing the nation at a time when the heart of every Pakistani was broken and the entire nation was in a state of grief and sorrow due to the Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park terror incident.
“I know well what the message terrorists want to give by hitting soft targets. I know that after losing their sanctuaries, training camps and infrastructure, why some remnants are heading towards educational institutions, recreational points and public places to hide their failure and despondence,” he remarked.
“I am here to renew a pledge that we are keeping count of every drop of blood of our martyrs; this account is being settled; and we will not rest till it is paid in toto,” the prime minister stressed.
He made it clear that creating lawlessness through arson, anarchy, damaging government property and creation of problems for people would not be accepted by the government.
“Any leniency in this regard should not be construed as a weakness of the state and helplessness of law enforcement agencies. Protection of public lives and property is the constitutional obligation of the government,” the prime minister declared.
The prime minister said that after assuming power in June 2013, his government had resolved to eliminate terrorism from the country.
He claimed that no one over the past 13 years had dared to confront the menace of terrorism.
For the first time, he said, his government, with a strong political will, had started taking this journey and after the rigid attitude of terrorists, decided to launch Operation Zarb-i-Azb against them.
“Our armed forces, police and civil security institutions have offered sacrifices to take the operation to an advanced stage. We have achieved major objectives through this operation, but our mission to destroy the cancer of terrorism will continue.”
Islam is a religion of peace, love and affection; it likens the killing of one person to that of slaying the entire humanity, he added.
He said that Muslims were followers of Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) who is a great benefactor to the entire world as he taught people to befriend others through good behaviour and nobility of character.
The prime minister prayed for martyrs of Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park attack and sympathised with bereaved families.
He said that he had met the injured people in different hospitals of Lahore and realised how high their spirits were. This also strengthened the government’s resolve in the fight against terrorism, he added.
The prime minister said that he would not rest till he saw smiles back on the faces of families affected by Sunday’s suicide bombing.
During the last few months, terrorists had targeted innocent people in Peshawar, Quetta, Mardan, Shabqadar and some other places, Mr Sharif recalled.
He made it clear that those creating violence, fanning sectarianism and creating problems for the masses would surely be brought to justice.
“Terrorism has become a global problem, not only for Pakistan but also the entire world. Such wave of terrorism has recently been seen in Ankara, Istanbul, Brussels and Paris,” he recalled.
“Enemies of humanity have crossed all limits. But I want to make it clear to such enemies of humanity that they won’t find a place to hide in this country.
“We have pledged to fight poverty, illiteracy, backwardness and ignorance. We have also resolved to transform darkness into light.
“We have also resolved to convert sectarianism and hatred into peace, love and brotherhood,” he declared.
“Insha Allah, terrorism, anarchy and lawlessness cannot hinder us from heading towards our destination. We will continue our journey with firm faith and belief in Allah and unity of people,” he said.
“Terrorists must know that their defeat is now certain. Despite conspiracies by terrorists, Pakistan is heading towards a new goal. Our Army Public School and Bacha Khan University are still diffusing the light of learning. The hustle and bustle in our parks, recreational points and bazaars will never subside,” the prime minister said.
He said the government was alert to all aspects of terrorism and looking into them seriously because these factors needed to be given special attention.
He said that public resolve and faith was boosting the government’s morale and “Insha Allah, we will carry forward our mission to make Pakistan a cradle of peace, progress and prosperity.”
All relevant institutions, he said, had been told clearly that terrorist leaders and their facilitators should not escape the law no matter where they were hiding or in whatever disguise.
The prime minister appealed to media to continue raising the nation’s voice against extremism and terrorism so that the goal of peace and tranquility could be achieved.-
Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2016