Senate: (Govt has taken concrete steps to combat terrorism: PM tells Senate)

ISLAMABAD: Winding up debate on Peshawar terrorist incident in the Senate on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the present government has taken concrete measures to address the challenge of terrorism.

He said sub committees formed to prepare recommendations on 20 points of the national action plan have started submitting their reports and these are being implemented.

He said parliament and the entire leadership of the country is firmly standing behind national action plan against terrorism and its implementation has begun. He said he is personally reviewing the progress on daily basis.

He said priority is being given to devise a system to bring terrorists to justice. For this purpose, he said the national political and military leadership in its meeting on Dec 24 unanimously decided to constitute special courts headed by military officers where cases of only terrorists’ incidents would be tried.

The Prime Minister said a draft of legal and constitutional amendments has been prepared and expressed the confidence that the parliament would approve them.

About reservations expressed by PPP’s Mian Raza Rabbani regarding possible misuse of these courts, the Prime Minister said we are passing through an extra-ordinary situation demanding extra-ordinary measures.

He pointed out that cases of serious crimes are pending with normal courts for twenty to thirty years. He said it has been decided that no armed group would be allowed to operate in Pakistan and impose their ideologies on the nation. Similarly banned organizations would not be allowed to operate under any other name in any circumstances.

He emphasized that freedom of media and democracy are inter-twined but the national leadership decided that glorification of terrorism would not be allowed. He said decisions about how to address the menace of terrorism are not being made by an individual but the national leadership and the parliament.

He said the proposed measures are aimed at securing life of the people and everything is being done within the ambit of the constitution. He expressed the confidence that the matchless demonstration of solidarity witnessed on December 16 would be maintained as any split would damage the cause to wipe out terrorism.

He said how can be deviate from law and the constitution when he struggled for freedom of judiciary. He however said it is question of survival of the nation and safety of our future generations. He said if we did not act now, then the situation would aggravate and would become difficult to handle.

He expressed satisfaction that the entire nation is solidly behind the national action plan and the goal of elimination of terrorism is not far off. He however said the attention of the nation must remain focused on this goal and it should not go on the back burner.

Nawaz Sharif thanked national political and military leadership for their contribution to the national action plan. In this connection, he specifically referred to the work done by the parliamentary committee assigned with the task of formulating recommendations for the national action plan within the stipulated time frame of one week.

He also spoke high of leader of the opposition in the Senate Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan for his input in drafting of proposed amendments.

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