ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah on Wednesday said that the Afghan government is a reality, adding that Pakistan wants the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to surrender, and efforts were underway to bring them to the negotiating table after they give up weapons.
He said it was unfortunate that some elements wanted to fan terror in society by spreading fake security-related threats like an attack on the Parliament House through the media. Such accused had been apprehended and were being investigated. Details of the investigation will be shared with the media after its completion in due course of time.
The minister said Shehbaz Sharif, as Punjab chief minister, had initiated the process to set up the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in the province, which had proven effective in controlling terror incidents in the country.
While condemning the recent attack on CTD officers in Khanewal, the minister said martyr Naveed Sadiq Sial had completed several daunting tasks during his duty.
“All the personnel of law enforcement agencies are playing their role in foiling terrorist attacks and their sacrifices for the motherland will not go in vain,” he added.
Sana said it was decided in the National Security Council (NSC) meeting that there would be zero tolerance against the terrorists who wanted to destabilise the country.
All the institutions, he added, were working effectively to root out terrorism from the country and the nation should rest assured that terrorists would be dealt with iron hands.
Regarding the terrorist attacks during the last year, the minister said around 67 percent incidents of terror had occurred in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 31 percent in Balochistan, while only one percent took place in Punjab and two percent in Sindh.
He appreciated the role of Punjab CTD and said that all the CTDs of other provinces should put the maximum efforts to prevent terrorist attacks.
The minister promised that the federal government would provide the maximum support and training especially to the KP and Balochistan CTDs so that they could play their due role in curbing terrorism.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Islamabad, Dr Akbar Nasir Khan, said the persons who were seen in a video threatening to attack the Parliament House had been arrested with the assistance of Rawalpindi Police and intelligence agencies. The accused, who claimed their association with the TTP in the viral video, were identified as Daneyal, son of Gul Ameen, Swabi, and Zubair, son of Shamul Rehman, Peshawar, he added.
The first information reports had been lodged against the accused who were on a remand for seven days. The IGP said the accused persons made the video only to spread terror. “Nobody will be allowed to spread fear and terror either in cyber or physical space and stern action will be taken against those who will disturb peace,” he added.
The terrorists did not belong to any area or province as all of them were enemy of peace, he remarked. On the occasion, the interior minister handed over a cheque of Rs10 million as compensation to the family of Police Head Constable Syed Adeel Hussain, who sacrificed his life in the line of duty by intercepting a suicide bomber in the Federal Capital’s I-10/4 Sector on December 23.
“The government will also provide a housing unit to the family of its own choice, worth Rs12.5 million, a full pension coupled with allowances to the martyr’s widow and bear educational expenses of the children, under the Prime Minister’s package,” the minister said while paying tribute to the martyred policeman here at a news conference.
He said the incumbent government had fully acknowledged the services and sacrifices of the Islamabad Police, which was evident from the fact that it had paid arrears amounting to Rs1.22 billion in one go to the heirs/ families of martyrs pending for many years.
In addition, the minister said, the government had brought salaries, allowances and other facilities of the Islamabad Police personnel at par with the Punjab Police, so that they could perform their duties in a more conducive environment with professional dedication. The timely and effective action of police officials averted the federal capital from a attack on December 23.
Rana Sana said he had issued directives that a superintendent of police (SP) would hold a weekly sitting with the heirs of martyrs to solve their problems on priority.
Meanwhile, voicing concern over the spike in cross-border terrorist attacks across Pakistan, the United States said that Islamabad has the right to hit back at terrorism. “The Pakistani people have suffered tremendously from terrorist attacks,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price told reporters at his daily news briefing. “Pakistan”, he added, “has a right to defend itself from terrorism”. “We’re aware of the recent statement by the Pakistani National Security Committee,” Spokesperson Price said in response to a question.
“We continue to call on the Taliban to uphold the very commitment they have made to see to it that Afghan soil is never again used as a launchpad for international terrorist attacks,” he said, adding, “These are among the very commitments that the Taliban have been unable or unwilling to fulfill to date.”
The TTP, meanwhile, warned Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party of “concrete action” for “declaring war” against it. A statement released by the TTP on Wednesday explicitly named Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.