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Nawaz Sharif condemned Quetta suicide bombing

11 August, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday condemned the Quetta suicide bombing and said the nation was united in the war on terror, which would be taken to its logical end at any cost.

Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, the prime minister said that intelligence agencies were working day and night to frustrate the designs of Pakistan’s enemies. “These misguided people have become our enemies,” he said and added that this mindset wanted to sabotage Pakistan’s peace. He reiterated that the government would eliminate every single terrorist from Pakistan.

This is the same mindset, which targeted Benazir Bhutto, Ismailis in Safoora, Hazaras in Balochistan, children at the Army Public School in Peshawar and minorities in Lahore and other parts of the country, he said. This mindset is the enemy of the society as well as legal and constitutional framework of the country, he said. It wants to strike at a time when Pakistan is witnessing economic development in the form of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Operation Zarb-e-Azb is the outcome of a national consensus and it will continue until complete elimination of terrorists from Pakistan, the prime minister said.

“We have foiled many attempts of terrorists,” Sharif said, adding that terrorists could not weaken nation’s resolve to fight them. He said the government could eliminate terrorism from the country through national unity. He said the government, people of Pakistan, the armed forces and the national institutions were united and steadfast in their fight against terrorism. He said that Pakistan raised its voice against Indian atrocities in Held Kashmir at international forums. He said the armed forces were safeguarding the territorial boundaries of the country in the best way and doing an excellent job to maintain law and order in the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the civil-military understanding was the main reason for an improved security situation in the country. He said the ongoing military operation was launched after consultations with all political parties, although some parties such as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had expressed their reservations about it. He said that no operation could succeed without national unity. He said the army played a critical role in the war against terrorism. In 2008-09, he said, Pakistan witnessed more than 2,000 terror attacks each year. Even Islamabad was not safe. As many as 181 terror attacks were carried out in Pakistan in the first eight months of the incumbent government, he said.

Referring to the comments of Mahmood Khan Achakzai, who described the Quetta attack as an intelligence failure and said that blaming the Indian intelligence agency would not serve any purpose, the interior minister said: “I wish those who raised their voice against the government would also have pointed finger at the RAW [Research and Analysis Wing] and the NDS [National Directorate of Security].” He left the hint that security agencies had found some leads to those involved in the Quetta suicide bombings. He said that intelligence-sharing had improved in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He laid stress on the need to defeat internal and external forces of terrorism. He said that military courts were meant to try terrorists, not political opponents. He said the next few months were crucial for the country.

After Khan’s speech, decorum of the House could not be maintained and the opposition parties like the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), PTI and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) walked out of the House over interior minister’s remarks. However, the prime minister went to the opposition lobby and brought them back.

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah said the opposition stood by the government in the war against terrorism. He said the opposition supported all initiatives for elimination of terrorism from the country. He said that a parliamentary committee on national security should be set up. He said the government could not win this war alone.

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