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PTI demands govt brief NA about counter-terrorism policy

22 January, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has demanded that the government brief the National Assembly (NA) about its counter-terrorism policy as well as hold an in-camera briefing for political leadership on the current security situation.

The PTI made this demand at its Core Committee meeting on Tuesday. It also asked the government about its position on dialogue or the possibility of an impending military operation and talks and timeline of any planned military operations.

In case of the latter, the PTI said it also wanted to know the parameters of such a military operation because already disturbing reports are coming in from NWA where aerial bombardment has left the local people homeless and many, including children, have died in the attack.

The party noted that the government should have evacuated the area of civilians before allowing any military operation or aerial bombardment.

The PTI said that the continuing terrorist attacks by the TTP, which are killing innocent citizens and soldiers; and the government's continuing vacillation on giving a clear cut counter terror policy are both destroying any hope for peace through dialogue.

The PTI's principled position on dialogue was premised on the strong logic that one must divide the adversary so that those who are prepared to dialogue should be separated from the hardcore groups. This position is part of the PTI manifesto also.

It felt that a military operation is always a last option and must always have political ownership and guidance so as to give the military national support.

"We cannot allow our military, whose soldiers have always laid down their lives for Pakistan, to be left isolated without political ownership. The PTI has always recognised the tremendous sacrifices of its soldiers," the committee said.

Almost nine months on, the party noted, the PML-N government has yet to put in place a cohesive counter-terrorism policy and state clearly whether the APC mandate for dialogue was ever operationalised or whether it has never been attempted.

The PTI felt the US had sabotaged the peace process through drone strikes.

"Why has PM Nawaz Sharif and his government failed to evolve a definitive counter-terrorism policy almost nine months after coming to power?"

"Why has the government not given a clear position on status, or lack thereof, of dialogue?" the party said.

The PTI also expressed grave concern over Maulana Samiul Haq's statement that the government was not serious about dialogue and said what is even more disturbing is his claim that the PM had asked him to plead to the Taliban to "spare us (Punjab)".

"Why is the government abdicating its political responsibility by asking various leaders of political parties to hold 'dialogue' with the TTP when it knows only the government has the legal sanction to do the same?" it questioned.

"What has the government done to stop US drone attacks so far despite its own electoral promises?

End.

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