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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held meetings in Karachi and Quetta to overview the counter- terrorism actions being taken by the provincial governments. On Thursday he attended a passing-out parade of first Special Combat Unit in Quetta where he vowed to continue fight against terrorism. While addressing the ceremony prime minister said that Pakistan has no other option but to win this war for the survival of future generations. He said the current challenge of terrorism needs to be countered with courage, determination and patience.
A day before in Quetta, while chairing a meeting of Balochistan Apex committee, he directed the authorities to precede for execution of the convicts whose mercy petitions had been rejected. He also urged provinces to implement decisions taken under the National Action Plan (NAP) to rid the country of extremism. Prime Minsiter assured that provincial governments and people of Pakistan are standing with the Pakistan Army in their counter- terrorism actions. Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, Defense minister and other federal and provincial ministers were also a part of the meeting.
Earlier on Monday prime minister chaired a meeting of the Apex Committee of Sindh in Karachi and discussed matters of law and order situation. The Apex committees were formed in all provinces to review security situation in their respective provinces.
Suicide attacks in Lahore and Rawalpindi made top headlines this week. The first attack took place on Tuesday at Police headquarters in Lahore in which five people were reportedly killed while an Imambargah, a Shia mosque, was attacked with guns and grenades on Wednesday in Rawalpindi in which three people were killed while several others were injured. Responsibility for both the attacks was taken by Taliban’s breakaway factions Jamat-ul-Ahrar and Jundullah respectively.
Terror attack in Rawalpindi took place at the Imambargah in New Shakrial area at the time of prayers when an attacker opened fire outside the mosque. According to media reports the attacker then tried to enter the Imambargah but failed to enter the prayer hall as worshippers inside locked the door.
Earlier, a day before, five people were killed in a suicide attack on police headquarters in Lahore. The blast took place near the main gate of Police Lines Qilla Gujjar Singh Empress Road on Tuesday. DIG operations and other police officials were present inside the police lines when the attack took place. According to media reports the prime target of suicide bomber could be high-rank police official.
Taliban splinter groups take the responsibility for both the attacks as a revenge for the hangings of militants as Pakistan government decided in December to lift six-year moratorium on death penalty.
Army chief General Raheel Sharif visited Kabul on Tuesday after intelligence reports that the recent attack on Imambargah in Peshawar were masterminded by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Fazlullah who was present in Afghanistan’s Kunar province. According to media reports army chief met Afghan president and other military officials to seek their help hunting down TTP leaders in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile following the cooperation between China, Afghanistan and Pakistan against terrorist groups, there are chances of peace negotiations between Taliban and Afghan government. According to media reports, a senior Pakistani military official said Pakistan’s army chief, General Raheel Sharif, told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during this visit that Taliban were willing to begin negotiations as early as March. However according to media reports Taliban official spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said that they will talk to the United States but not the Afghan government. According to media sources a senior member of the Afghan Taliban said their negotiators would hold a first round of talks with US officials in Qatar on Thursday. But US officials in Washington denied the United States was holding talks with the Taliban.
This was General Raheel’s second visit to Afghanistan since December 17, 2014 when he had rushed to Afghanistan to share information with the Afghan authorities regarding TTP’s involvement in Peshawar school attack in which 150 people were killed.
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