PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Apex Committee, a forum of civil and military officials, has decided that the offensive against militants in the province will be expedited.

“It isn’t a day’s work and instead, it is a continued exercise. It [offensive against militants] will be sped up and will continue until the menace militancy is eliminated,” caretaker information minister Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel told Dawn on Thursday.

Earlier, he told a presser after a cabinet meeting here that hopefully, there would be a “visible change” in the law and order situation soon.

The minister said the apex committee discussed the law and order situation and militant attacks in detail and took “productive” decisions.

Minister promises ‘visible change’ in security situation in near future

“People will see an obvious change in the near future,” he said, referring to the fight against militancy.

Mr Kakakhel said the apex committee’s meeting, which was attended by Chief of Army Staff Gen Syed Asim Munir and members of the federal cabinet, lasted almost six hours.

He said a crackdown was under way on hoarders, smugglers and illegal money exchanges and it would continue until targets were achieved.

The minister said continued efforts by authorities led to a significant decline in the rates of American dollar and gold.

He said 13 groups were involved in extortion cases, while law-enforcement agencies registered 145 extortion cases and arrested 174 culprits.

Mr Kakakhel added that trial in 89 cases was in progress.

He said a crackdown was under way against those spreading fake news, religious hatred and false propaganda against the state on social media.

The minister said the apex committee had decided to impose a ban on the sale of night vision gadgets to prevent their use by militants in attacks against law-enforcement agencies.

About the province’s financial issues and dues to be cleared by the centre, he said a committee was being formed to “reconcile the amount to be paid to KP.”

When asked about undocumented Afghan nationals living in the country in general and KP in particular, Mr Kakakhel said no country tolerated unregistered people on its soil.

He said the government would never allow the presence of undocumented people in the country.

The minister said the caretaker government’s mandate was to hold free, fair and impartial elections by providing a level-playing field to all contestants.

In the apex committee’s meeting on Wednesday, Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir said Pakistan Army would continue to play its role in ensuring peace and stability in KP to provide a secure environment for economic development, according to a statement issued by the military’s media wing ISPR.

He also said efforts for peace and prosperity in the country had to be synergised.

Meanwhile, the counter-terrorism department on Thursday issued a list of most wanted militants, including a woman with Rs 0.3 million head money.

The list carries details and images of most militants.

It has names of 134 wanted militants, including Quratul Ain, a 37-year-old woman militant from Dera Ismail Khan district.

Of these militants, 33, including Saifur Rehman with Rs8 million bounty on his head, belong to Dera Ismail Khan and 25, including Said Wali Shah with Rs5.7 million head money, to Swat.

Nine militants, including Falak Zeb with a head money of Rs5 million, hails from Swabi, seven from Peshawar, six each from Darra Adamkhel, Kohat and Mardan, five each from Shangla and Nowshera and four each from Buner, Charsadda, Malikabad and North Waziristan, including Hafiz Gul Bahadur with Rs2 million bounty on his head.

The list also carried details of three militants each from Battagram and Karak, two from Abbottabad and one each from Lakki Marwat, Haripur, Mansehra, Attock, Khyber, Kohistan and Mohmand. It revealed that a militant, Mansoor, belonged to the Khost area in Afghanistan and had Rs0.3 million head money.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2023

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