Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday categorically rejected the idea of the state bowing before any terrorist group and vowed to foil the nefarious designs of the militants in the country.
The statement came in condemnation of the Bannu hostage crisis and other recent terrorist activities in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“Attempts to spread chaos in Pakistan through terrorism will be dealt with iron fists,” PM Shehbaz Sharif said in a statement while pledging to deal with the outlaws as per law.
The prime minister termed terrorism a sensitive issue of national security and said that a joint approach and strategy is required to deal with it.
He also said that the government will address the external facilitation of terrorists who disseminate and support it in Pakistan.
Paying tribute to the armed forces fighting against terrorism, PM Shehbaz said that nation will end terrorism by supporting its brave forces. He added that the sacrifices made by the armed forces and other law enforcement agencies will not be forgotten.
The premier said that operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad were important measures to eradicate terrorism from Pakistan. He also said that the sacrifices of the martyrs will not go to waste.
‘Main responsibility of peace lies with provinces’
PM Shehbaz said that the main responsibility of peace lies with the provinces, however, the government cannot turn a blind eye to these issues.
He added that the federal government will work with the provinces to fight against terrorism. The premier said that in order to end terrorism, it is important to increase the capacity and the efficiency of the provincial government and for that, the government will assist in improving the professional capacity of counter-terrorism departments in all provinces.
PM Shehbaz said that the government will also with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on the restructuring of its CTD, adding that they will be provided all the facilities including modern weapons.
Bannu hostage crisis
A hostage crisis occurred when terrorists of banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) seized control of the Counter-Terrorism Department’s (CTD) compound in the country’s northwest on December 18, taking several security personnel hostage.
However, the security forces cleared the facility in a successful operation in which 25 terrorists were killed — three days after the militants overpowered security guards in the centre.
Rising terror incidents
The law and order situation in KP has gone south over the last few weeks as an increase has been noticed in threats and attacks on security forces as well as high-profile political personalities.
The police are on high alert across the province after the recent spike in attacks in areas including Peshawar, southern districts, and the Mardan region.
According to a source, apart from the police, senior politicians have complained of receiving threats. The houses of some of them have also come under grenade attack, the source had shared.
Provincial spokesperson of the Awami National Party (ANP) Samar Bilour has also shared that their provincial president Aimal Wali Khan had received a call about a plan of attack on his life.
Samar said that their leadership’s protection is the state’s responsibility, adding that they will be left with no other option but to take the protection of their leaders into their own hands if the state does not act.
“Apart from Aimal Wali Khan, Sardar Hussain Babak and others have received threats as well while the house of MPA Faisal Zeb was attacked twice in the last few weeks,” Samar had said.
Apart from the attack on the house of ANP MPA Faisal Zeb in Shangla, a grenade was hurled at the house of party Senator Hidayatullah in Peshawar in recent months.
The wave of terrorist attacks has risen across the province in the last few months, the report said. At least 118 terrorist incidents were reported in KP from mid-August till the last week of November, according to official numbers.
At least 26 policemen, 12 personnel of other law enforcement agencies and 17 civilians were killed in terror incidents across the KP. Moreover, 18 policemen, 10 civilians, and 37 law enforcement agencies personnel suffered injuries in these attacks.
A dozen districts, including Peshawar, Mardan, Bajaur, Mohmand, Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Kohat, Bannu, and Nowshera came under attack in November.