Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Pakistan to raise 5,000-strong counter terror force.........

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government on Wednesday said that a 5,000-strong counter terrorism force will be raised in the country to fight militants in the aftermath of the deadly Peshawar school attack that killed 150 people. 

Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali briefed a meeting of parliamentary leaders about the decision of the National Action Plan Committee which was set up after last week's attack to suggest measures to deal with militancy. 

Nisar said the army would prepare and train the force which will be deployed a thousand each in federal capital and the four provinces — Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, Radio Pakistan reported. 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his address to the meeting asked the political leadership to take strong and decisive decisions to purge the country of terrorism. 

Sharif said the gruesome incident in Peshawar that killed mostly schoolchildren, has united the entire nation which is now looking towards the leaders to take the right decisions. 

He said the country is passing "through an extraordinary situation which requires extraordinary steps." 

"The history and the nation will not forgive us if we failed to rid the country of this menace," Sharif said, adding that all the political parties should demonstrate unity and discuss the concerns if they have any on any issue. 

"We are ready to address the concerns pertaining to the imminent legislation," he said. 

The Prime Minister said operation Zarb-e-Azb is successfully going on in North Waziristan and there is a dire need to expand it to the entire country against those elements who want to destabilise Pakistan. 

Sharif said Pakistan has paid a heavy price both in terms of human losses and economy in the war on terror. 

Nisar also said there was a consensus among the committee members that effective coordination among the civil-military leadership was imperative to eliminate terrorism. 

The interior minister said when the military operation was launched it was decided that civil-military forces would require time to counter terrorism and the police was not equipped for this purpose. 

"At this time approximately 10,000 soldiers are deployed in Pakistani cities for the purpose of counter-terrorism," Geo news quoted Nisar as saying. 

He said there was a demand by members of the committee to immediately ban material on the Internet that glorifies terrorists and their activities. 

Nisar said glorification of terrorists on media will be totally banned, and a law required for it could be made. 

Prominent among those who attended the parliamentary party meeting included leader of the opposition in National Assembly Khurshid Shah, leader of the opposition in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan, PTI chief Imran Khan, ANP leader Ghulam Ahmed Bilour and MQM leader Farooq Sattar among others.