Govt determined to eradicate terrorism: Attaullah Tarar

Share on Social Media

ISLAMABAD, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Attaullah Tarar Thursday informed the National Assembly that the government was determined to eradicate terrorism from the country.

In response to a calling attention notice regarding increase in incidents of suicidal bombing in different parts of country and increase in number of incidents of snatching, gunshots in Karachi, Hyderabad and Kashmore, he said, that following the Peshawar APS attack, the National Action Plan was devised with consensus among all stakeholders, and its implementation was promptly initiated.

The minister said that provinces extended cooperation to the federal government in executing the National Action Plan.

He highlighted the commencement of two successful operations, Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad, aimed at eradicating terrorism from the country.

Tarar said that after the operations, a significant decline was witnessed in terrorist incidents in the country.

He expressed regret over the lack of meetings and implementation of the National Action Plan by the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in 2018 to 2022.

The minister said that at that time, the court intervened to inquire about the delayed implementation from 2018 to 2022.
He alleged that the PTI-led governments held negotiations with the terrorists, hindering the National Action Plan’s execution.

The minister reiterated the federal government’s commitment to aiding provincial governments in combating terrorism and highlighted initiatives to bolster the Counter Terrorism Department’s capacity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

During his visit to Karachi, he said Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif discussed the Safe City project for the city with the Chief Minister Sindh.

Tarar said the Sindh Chief Minister assured the establishment of a Safe City camera network across Karachi.

He disclosed that a draft of the National Counter Violent Extremism 2024 policy had been submitted to the cabinet for approval.

He urged both the treasury and opposition benches of the parliament to unite against terrorism, emphasizing the importance of parliamentary solidarity in the fight against terrorism.

In response to another query, the minister said that Pakistan Army, intelligence agencies were cooperating with the provinces to address terrorism incidents, expressing optimism about a reduction in terrorism due to government measures.

He said that following the 18th amendment, it became the provinces’ responsibility to work to improve law and order in the provinces.

The minister said that the federal government time to time hold meeting with provinces to discuss law and order situation.

He added that in the recent past, a meeting was held to discuss the security of Chinese nationals.

The minister said that the federal government had already made the
announcement for devising a compensation policy for the relatives of martyrs.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar Thursday informed the National Assembly that for providing exact information about the names of legislators, if any, put on the travel stop lists, specific identification details like CNIC number or father’s name were required.

Due to extensive nature of the lists, identification specifics would make it feasible to provide details about the lawmakers included in them, the minister said.

He was responding to a calling attention notice regarding non-removal of the names of members of the National Assembly and provincial legislators from the travel stop lists, including Exit Control List (ECL), Provisional National Identification List (PNIL) and Black List (BL).

He emphasized that a list of lawmakers containing their names, parents’ names, Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) and other details was required so that the reasons for inclusion of their names in the travel stop lists could be furnished.

Referring to the criticism by the Leader of Opposition leader, the minister reminded them of their actions when they were in power. He called for showing respect for parliamentary norms instead of engaging in such criticism.

The opposition leaders should better provide a list of their members, if any, put on such lists if they were serious in resolving the matter.

He clarified that names were not added to the ECL unilaterally or arbitrarily, rather a specific process and procedure was followed for the purpose. Investigation agencies forwarded the names of people for inclusion in such lists.

The minister recalled the past instances of placing several members of his party, including Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, on the Exit Control List and others lists.

He assured that once the proper details were provided they would provide the opposition the required information.

As regards the lists, he stated that some 1,924 names were included in the PNIL and 4,842 in the ECL.

The minister clarified that the ECL, PNIL and BL were not categorized on the basis of professions such as businessmen, but rather compiled as per references filed by investigation agencies.

He said that every parliamentarian, regardless of their affiliation, had the privilege to seek information about any matter and the government respected that privilege.

Regarding the opposition’s objection to providing the details, he questioned why it was problematic for them as it would streamline the process, enabling the government to furnish the information about each individual put on the lists more efficiently.

Atta Tarar said that the Constitution guaranteed freedom of movement, and the laws governing the ECL were aligned with constitutional principles. Had the laws were unconstitutional, the courts would have struck them down.

He reiterated that the Interior Ministry received references from investigation agencies, containing comprehensive details and reasons for including names in such lists. He expressed readiness to provide these details and offered guidance on accessing information about the individuals concerned who had been added to the lists.

He remarked that the sponsors of the calling attention notice were serious about addressing the issues at hand. If they were committed to resolving the matter, then they should have proper documentation to support their stance.

Aamir Dogar, one of the sponsors of the notice, brought attention to 11 members whose names had been forwarded to the Interior Ministry. The minister pointed out that their specific details should have been included in the notice too.