PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that he would ensure that “the National Action Plan (NAP) is implemented in full force” and with complete comprehensiveness.
PM Sharif visited the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) Monday evening to inquire about the injured in the deadly blast that took place at the mosque of Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines during Zuhr prayers which also claimed at least 59 lives.
The premier was received by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir and then took rounds of different wards and met the injured.
Shehbaz directed thehospital administration to provide the best medical facilities to all the injured. He was accompanied by Minister for Defence Khwaja Muhammad Asif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb.
The Corps Commander Peshawar briefed the PM on the factors and motivations behind the rise in terrorism in Peshawar. The premier was shown the CCTV footage of the suicide attack, and the IG Police also presented the preliminary investigation report on it.
“Terrorists are making a sinister attempt to create fear and terror by attacking defence agencies,” the premier said, adding, “They will be defeated by the strength of the unity of the state and the people.”
Mentioning the great loss of life of security personnel and civilians due to terrorism, he said that Pakistan had made great sacrifices against terrorism and that he would not “let the sacrifices of the martyrs go in vain.”
The premier also stressed that he would ensure thorough implementation of the NAP to cut the roots of terrorism in the country.
After the Army Public School attack on 16th of December 2014, a national consensus was evolved to come down hard on the terrorists through a concerted effort. A 20-point NAP for countering terrorism and extremism was chalked out by Nacta/ Ministry of Interior in consultation with the stakeholders and approved on 24th of December, 2014 by Parliament.
Measures taken in NAP included the implementation of death sentence of those convicted in cases of terrorism; establishment of special trial courts under the supervision of army; banning militant outfits and armed gangs; strengthening National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta); and strict action against promotion of hatred, extremism, sectarianism and intolerance.
Expressing his sorrow at the heinous attack, PM Shehbaz said: “Those who shed the blood of prostrate worshipers in the house of Allah cannot be Muslims. The perpetrators of this crime will not be able to escape from the grip of Allah. We will erase these criminals from the pages of history.”
He also said that he would increase the capacity and capability of the anti-terrorism agencies and the police. He added said that attacking mosques and innocent citizens during prayers in the name of Islam was the worst of acts and that the people of Pakistan have recognised the true faces of the elements who misinterpret religion.
“Such cowardly attacks cannot weaken our national resolve against terrorism,” he said, adding, “Evil elements and their facilitators will be brought to justice.”
Taking to Twitter, the minister said: “While the pain of the grieving families cannot be described in words, I express my heartfelt condolences & most sincere sympathies. My message to the perpetrators of today’s despicable incident is that you can’t underestimate the resolve of our people.”