PESHAWAR, Dec 17 (APS): The national political leadership on Wednesday vowed to fight the extremists and terrorists without any discrimination so as to wipe out this scourge from the country.
“At no stage there would be any discrimination between the good and bad Taliban and all would be dealt equally with an iron hand,” Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said while addressing a press conference along with national political leaders.
The Prime Minister read out a written statement agreed upon by the political leadership of the country, specifically gathered here at the Governor’s House to deliberate upon a course of action following the horrific act of terrorism at a local school that left over 140 people dead, including 132 children.
While expressing deep grief and sorrow over the tragic Peshawar incident, the Prime Minister said the meeting agreed that the war against extremism and terrorism needed to be fought with national consensus and determination.
He said a number of terrorists had escaped towards Afghanistan and measures were afoot to apprehend them so that justice could prevail.
The Prime Minister said it was also decided to constitute a committee to finalize suggestions for preparing a “Plan of Action” that would be approved by the national political and military leadership and shared with the nation.
He said the committee, headed by the Interior Minister, would submit suggestions in seven days. Representatives of military and intelligence agencies would be included in the committee.
The meeting noted the supreme sacrifices of the law enforcement agencies during the operation Zarb-e-Azb and observed the attack on the school seemed to be a part of a plan of the fleeing terrorists.
He said the operation was going on with success and had achieved many of its stated objectives.
The Prime Minister said the hideouts and sanctuaries of the terrorists had been destroyed and they were on the run.
He said the national political leadership had discussed the critical issue of terrorism in detail and come up with solid suggestions.
To a question about his discussion with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan, the Prime Minister said it was a beauty of democracy that all issues could be discussed amicably. He specially thanked Imran Khan for attending the meeting at a critical juncture while setting aside his differences.
The Prime Minister, when asked about the setting up of a judicial commission, said he himself had written a letter to the Supreme Court and also mentioned the recent decision of the apex court. The matter, he added, needed to be resolved amicably with consensus and to the satisfaction of the parties concerned.
Imran Khan on the occasion said the country was passing through a critical juncture and the entire leadership was together on one platform to address the issue of extremism and terrorism.
He said if the judicial commission was set up, his party would accept the decision whatever it took without any objection.
Imran Khan said in the wake of cold blooded murder of children, he had set aside his differences as the matter of terrorism was far more serious and needed urgent attention.
“It is a national cause and we stand fully with the federal government and give out a clear message that leaders of entire political spectrum stand together to express their resolve to defeat terrorism, once for all.”
He termed the holding of the meeting a welcome step and said he would soon be going back to his container at D-Chowk to offer prayers for the departed souls.
The Prime Minister remarked he had to go to the hospital to inquire after the injured, otherwise he would too have joined Imran Khan on the container.