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Govt put its political stake on the line : PM

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that political stability is crucial for economic stability as he chaired a high-level huddle of the National Apex Committee — summoned to overview the country’s law and order situation.

The committee, formed in 2015 after the Army Public School (APS) attack to oversee the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP), met in Islamabad as Pakistan grapples with a fresh wave of terrorism.

The apex committee meeting — attended by the civilian and military leadership — was scheduled to discuss and formulate a strategy to deal with the terrorism wave in various parts of the country.

The meeting came after Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence Lieutenant General Nadeem Anjum visited Kabul to discuss the rise in militant activities, including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) attacks.

Such a high-level visit from Islamabad took place after a long pause. It is understood that the activities of the TTP using Afghan territory which is causing great harm to peace in Pakistan did come for detailed deliberations during the stay of the delegation in Kabul.

The meeting also holds importance as the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is holding its “Jail Bharo Tehreek (court arrest movement)” across the country — which also requires the attention of law enforcement agencies.

“Unfortunately, there is still a segment of society that wants to get things done on the streets,” the prime minister said, without naming the PTI — which was ousted from power in April and has been on the streets with intermittent intervals.

He mentioned that after the APS attack, then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif had also invited Khan to attend a NAP meeting, but he refused to attend the moot even back then.

The prime minister told the participants that after the Peshawar attack, which claimed over 80 lives, the government also invited all the stakeholders but a particular party did not bother to attend the meeting.

“They still want to resolve the matter on the streets that were highly condemnable,” he remarked.

The premier also told the participants that after a terrorist attack in Peshawar on February 3, the civil and military authorities had held a seven-hour long session and took several decisions.

PM Shehbaz also added after the attack on the Karachi Police Office (KPO), the personnel of Sindh police, Rangers, and Pakistan Army bravely fought the terrorists. He also prayed for high ranks in the paradise for the soldiers martyred during the operation.

Three militants were killed during the KPO operation, which continued for around four hours on one of the main arteries of the city, Sharea Faisal. Police and Rangers personnel were also injured in the shootout.

He maintained that though the government was compelled to accept strict International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions, the state of Pakistan was above all. Even the government’s coalition parties also put their political interests at stake for the sake of the country and to improve the economic situation.

He said that cooperation by the friendly countries was no less than Allah’s blessing, but the foremost priority should be to put our own house in order otherwise no one would come up for help.

The premier further said that anyone’s ego cannot be supreme when “it comes to national interests”.

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