LAHORE: Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz has termed political instability the cause of fear among the foreign and local investors who are afraid of investing in the country.

Speaking at her maiden Punjab apex committee meeting here on Friday, the chief minister talked about the environment of political uncertainty prevailing in the country, which, according to her, was deterring potential investors.

“Foreign and local investors are afraid of investing in Pakistan because of political instability,” she said but indirectly blamed Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) for this without naming the party.

She said on May 9, military installations were attacked, which never happened in the country before.

“A political party resorted to terrorism. What the TTP (Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan) could not do, a specific political party did by attacking the military installations.”

Stresses need to counter ‘right-wing terrorism’; blames KP govt for lack of measures to block terrorists, smugglers; says NAP requires upgrade

The CM talked about terrorism taking the shape of difficult warfare.

“Terrorists got digitalised and we need to be ahead of them (on such platforms). Besides, terrorists have the latest weapons and technology. They have the US weapons which they got in Afghanistan,” she said and added that the weapons being smuggled from Afghanistan were a big challenge. She also admitted that even the gangs in south Punjab “are ahead of us in technology and they have more sophisticated weapons”.

Maryam Nawaz also underlined the need to take up the challenge of countering the right-wing terrorism that was imposing its version of religion on the nation. She said the youth was also being brainwashed and recruited by terrorists.

“Social media is one of the major tools being used for this purpose,” she claimed.

The CM spoke about the effectiveness of the National Action Plan (NAP), saying there was a need to upgrade it.

“The world had recognised the effectiveness of NAP, which was formed after the APS tragedy (in 2014). Its loopholes need to be plugged.”

She expressed the government’s resolve to provide security to the Chinese nationals working on development projects in Punjab. The meeting also condemned the killing of Chinese engineers in Bisham in a terror attack and pledged to provide the Chinese nationals with the optimum security.

However, the CM said all of the Chinese here did not want to come under security discipline.

“The Chinese are resentful when they are asked to follow security protocols…They don’t want to come under any discipline. They fret over it.”

Maryam Nawaz was also critical of the KP government for not taking enough measures to check its corridors that were open to terrorists and smugglers. She alleged that the metal strong that slit open the throat of a youth in Faisalabad was also brought from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“Punjab has decided to set up posts at its provincial border to stop terrorism and smuggling,” she said.

Lahore Corps Commander Lt Gen Syed Aamer Raza, other military officers, the inspector general of police, chief secretary and senior minister Marriyum Aurangzeb were also present.

The apex committees in all provinces were formed in 2015 when retired Gen Raheel Sharif was the army chief. Their main objective was said to be the coordination on security matters to implement NAP. The apex committees constitute both military and political leadership.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2024

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