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Government, army on same page on terrorism: Nawaz

31 December, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that attacks by terrorists on innocent civilians and personnel of the law enforcement agencies were intolerable and the government and the military were on the same page about tackling the menace of terrorism.

He said this while chairing a high-level meeting held at the Prime Minister House on Monday.The government has decided to harmonise laws pertaining to the elimination of terrorism so that a comprehensive strategy could be chalked out on an urgent basis to rid the country of the menace.

A special committee, with Interior Secretary Shahid Khan as chairman, has been constituted to streamline the process of legislation. The committee will submit its report to the government within ten days.

Secretary Ministry of Law Barrister Zafarullah, Special Secretary to the Prime Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad and two representatives of the armed forces would be members of the committee.

The meeting took stock of the overall situation related to legislation and its implementation for the purpose of weeding out terrorism from the country. The hallmark of the discussion was that all the organs of the state were on the same page for the purpose. Another meeting with the same composition would take place after two weeks, where the committee constituted under the secretary interior would submit a detailed report.

Highly placed sources told that the meeting was informed that certain laws which were promulgated through ordinances had already been placed before parliament where they had been referred to the committee concerned for consideration. Such laws are valid till February 8 and hopefully will be processed before the deadline.

The Protection of Pakistan Ordinance 2013 is also being considered by the committee. The participants appreciated the legislation aimed at overcoming terrorism but impressed upon the officials concerned to fulfil the requirements to make the laws more effective on an urgent basis.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Interior Ch Nisar Ali Khan, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, Chief of General Staff (CGS) Lt General Ashfaq Nadeem, DG ISI Lt. General Zaheerel Islam, DG MI and the federal secretaries of interior and law.

The meeting lasted about three hours and about 30 laws were reviewed in the course of the meeting. Prime Minister Nawaz asked to expedite the formulation and promulgation of anti-terror laws. It was revealed in the meeting that the government is seriously persuading the anti terror legislation in the Parliament where the pace for processing of legislation is slow. The ministry for law and justice would devise method to expedite the process, the sources said.

It has been officially stated after the meeting that Prime Minister made it clear that there is no space for enemy aliens to attack innocent civilians and armed forces. They must be prosecuted with effectiveness, the Prime Minister reminded.

Prime Minister Nawaz said that we will adopt coordinate strategy to root out the menace of terrorism. Civil administration and military are on the same page to tackle terrorist in Karachi, FATA and PATA, he added.

In another meeting where the FBR reforms came under discussion, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who chaired it said that FBR should reform the taxation system so that the taxpayer is facilitated. He also directed to decrease the rates of Income tax, Sales tax and other duties. The meeting also discussed the measures to provide relief to the taxpayer. The meeting was attended by Minister for Defense Khawaja Asif, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Minister for Interior Ch Nisar Ali Khan, Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique and other senior government officials concerned.

The Prime Minister directed that a comprehensive reform package should be introduced in FBR which should simplify the procedures and enhance the tax returns. He directed to bring in a tax regime which helps the businesses grow.

In order to simplify the procedures and provide swift services to the taxpayer, PM directed to introduce new technology and tracking system to minimize the discretion of the tax officer. He stressed that the tax officers should facilitate people so that they feel comfortable. FBR should come up with reform package in one month, PM directed.

He directed that the Income Tax, GST and Customs slabs should be rationalized and simplified so that it leads to increase in income of the government. Prime Minister Nawaz observed that corruption is root cause of all our problems and it has eaten up our economy. He directed that the management of FBR to observe zero tolerance towards the corruption.

End.

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