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Punjab to have Rangers operation

20 February, 2017

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LAHORE: Expressing grave concern over the involvement of an Afghanistan-based terrorist network in Lahore's Charing Cross suicide blast, the Punjab Apex Committee on Sunday decided that the provincial government would seek Pakistan Rangers' help in action against Afghan terrorists.

The committee meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, also stressed the need for focused and indiscriminate operation against terrorists and their facilitators. National Security Adviser Lt Gen (r) Nasser Khan Janjua, Lahore Core Commander Lt General Sadiq Ali, Punjab Minister for Counter Terrorism Colonel (r) Muhammad Ayub, Punjab Rangers Director General (DG) Major General Azhar Naveed Hayat, General Officer Commanding 10 Division Major General Sardar Tariq Aman, Chief Secretary Captain (r) Zahid Saeed, Inspector General Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera, Interior Secretary Major (r) Azam Sulaiman Khan and other senior civil and military officers also attended the meeting.

A briefing was given on the arrest of those responsible behind the Lahore suicide attack and on ways to bust terror networks. The meeting was informed that those providing sanctuary to terrorists would also not be spared. It was also decided to broaden the scope of operation on the basis of intelligence and to take strong measures to stop illegal movement of Afghan migrants. It was also decided to strictly watch the bordering divisions of Punjab. The participants decided to enhance cooperation among all intelligence networks in order to tackle any internal and external challenges. The need for holding meetings of provincial intelligence committee on a regular basis was also stressed. It was decided to take indiscriminate operation against all banned organisations and to arrest all active workers of those outfits. It was also decided to stop all the sources that provide financial assistance to those banned organisations and to provide foolproof security to foreigners and all CPEC-related projects.

During the meeting, the recent terrorist attack in Lahore was strongly condemned and fateha was offered for those who lost their lives. Sincere condolences were also offered to the bereaved families. The committee expressed unity with the heirs of martyrs and paid tribute to their invaluable services. During the meeting, appreciation was also given to Punjab Safe City project. All the participants showed determination to end terrorism, militancy, extremism and sectarian violence from the country and to take immediate measures to achieve this end.

Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that no one would be allowed to play with the lives of citizens. "The people of Pakistan do not deserve terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence on their soil. This war will not end until and unless terrorism ends in the country, and those who are responsible for it will be brought to justice."

The CM said that the political and military leadership were on the same page in this war against terrorism. "Terrorists will be held accountable for every drop of blood," he reiterated. During the meeting, progress on the initiatives taken under the National Action Plan was also reviewed. It may be mentioned here that the committee meeting continued for four hours. Before the meeting started, the CM recited some verses from the Holy Quran.

Separately, Lahore Core Commander Lieutenant General Sadiq Ali held a meeting with Shahbaz Sharif. Both the leaders condemned the recent incidents of terrorism across the country and offered sincere condolences to the bereaved families. They also paid gratitude to the invaluable services rendered by the Pakistan Army and young police officers, and appreciated the bravery of those who lost their lives during the ongoing war against terrorism.

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