PM calls for forging national unity against terrorism.

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PESHAWAR, Prime Minister, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif here on Friday called for forging national unity against the menace of terrorism and urged all the stakeholders to shun their differences and sit together to wipe out terrorism in its all forms and manifestation.

The prime minister said that all political-religious parties’ leadership irrespective of their political, religious and linguistic ideologies should stand united to win the fight against terrorism.

He expressed his government’s strong resolve that the fight against terrorism would continue till its logical end and extermination.

Addressing an apex committee meeting here at Governor House, the prime minister said that undue criticism, propaganda and blames over the police lines’ mosque blast was highly condemnable, adding that “we have to admit the facts behind the blast that had made the whole nation grieved and sadden.”

He said that it would be probed that how the terrorist sneaked into the mosque and carried out such a huge blast that claimed around 80 to 85 innocent worshipers and many others injured.

Prime Minister said the federation and provinces should jointly fight out terrorism as after every incident of the past the federation was blamed for not cooperating with KP in that regard.

Shehbaz Sharif disclosed that Rs 417 billion were provided to KP since 2010 under the National Finance Commission Award that was supposed to be spent for capacity-building, infrastructure development and equipment for the counter-terrorism department and wondered where that huge amount was spent in KP. He suggested a complete probe and audit of the spending of such a huge amount in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said that a well-equipped counter-terrorism department (CTD) and a modern forensic lab were established in Punjab and that a forensic lab, safe city project and infrastructure for CTD could also be established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after receiving Rs 417 billion. He said that peace could have been established in KP if one-fourth of the said amount was spent in the province.

The prime minister on this occasion announced Rs2 million for each martyr’s family and Rs0.5 million for each injured in the police lines’ mosque blast.

He said that the purpose of the convening of the Apex Committee meeting in Peshawar was to express solidarity with the bereaved families of the martyrs and injured and appraised all the stakeholders about the law and order situation in the province.

Referring to recent terrorist attacks on CTD Bannu and Police Lines Peshawar, Shehbaz Sharif said the whole nation was worried that the menace of terrorism, which was wiped out by the Nawaz Sharif government, had reemerged in KP, which he said was highly deplorable.

He said the successful operations of Zarb Azab and Radul Fasad had immensely helped in wiping out of terrorism from the province and lauded the sacrifices of security forces, government officials, people, civil society and civil armed forces for the protection of their country.

The premier strongly condemned social media speculations and propaganda in the wake of the police lines mosque blast, adding that the rumors of a drone attack and others allegations related to the blast were inappropriate. He clarified that it was a suicide attack.

The prime minister said the practice of criticism for the sake of criticism should be avoided and facts should not be distorted and supremacy of truth should prevail.

The meeting of the apex committee was attended by Interior Minister Rana Sana ullah, Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir, Chief Ministers of four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, Federal Ministers and national and political leadership except for PTI leadership, who refused to attend the meeting.

The prime minister said all the national political and religious parties’ leadership including the one who did not want to shake hands with him, were invited to today’s Apex Committee meeting and APC committee meeting to be held on February 7 in Islamabad.

He called for rising above personal likes and dislikes and leaving the double standard politics to curb terrorism and extremism.

Shehbaz Sharif said despite repeated terrorist attacks, not a single inch of the land of KP was under the control of any terrorist group or individual that reflected the strong writ of the government.

Referring to negotiations with IMF, he said talks with the IMF team were underway with his government’s monetary team led by the finance minister Ishaq Dar, adding “despite IMF’s strict terms and conditions the government would take the decisions while keeping in view the national interest supreme.”

The prime minister said the economic challenges being faced by the country were enormous and the IMF conditions that the country has to meet are beyond immigration, adding the government would take strict decisions to take the country out of the economic quagmire.

Later, collective Fateha was offered for eternal peace of the departed souls and speedy recovery of the injured in the police lines blast.

Earlier, the prime minister was received by KP Governor Ghulam Ali, Caretaker CM Azam Khan and officials of the KP government.