Pakistan PM Imran Khan vows ‘zero-tolerance’ for terrorists

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday vowed “zero tolerance” for terrorists as he urged for quick persecution of the cases of terrorism in the courts, days after a suicide bomber killed 63 people and wounded more than 200 others in a Shia mosque in northwest Pakistan.

Khan chaired a meeting of the Apex Committee on National Action Plan (NAP), which was launched in 2015 to eliminate terrorism from the country. Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and several top ministers attended the meeting.

According to a statement from the PM Office, Khan said that the Government has zero-tolerance for terrorists and swift persecution is required to set an example out of terrorist elements.

He emphasised that a multi-pronged approach, full-spectrum, and vigorous implementation of NAP is required to thwart the threat of terrorism. He also stressed taking proactive measures to tackle such incidents in the future.

Prime Minister Khan stated that nefarious designs to destabilize the country would never succeed as the entire nation is united to defeat the menace of terrorism.

He stated that the public realizes that elements are trying to create disharmony on the basis of sectarianism and hate speech, but the State will never allow such designs to succeed.

The Apex Committee stressed the need to strengthen the role of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) to coordinate measures essential for countering terrorism and capacity building of Counter-Terrorism Departments.

The meeting came days after an ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up inside a Shia mosque in Peshawar on Friday, killing 63 people and wounding over 200 others.

The Apex Committee strongly condemned the Peshawar attack. The Secretary of the Interior Division presented a detailed briefing.

The meeting was briefed on the implementation status of NAP including measures taken to choke terror financing, countering violent extremism, investigation, and prosecution of terrorism cases, intolerance towards militancy, capacity building of law enforcement agencies, and registration of seminaries.

The NAP was formulated after the deadly Peshawar school attack in 2014 that killed nearly 150 people, mostly students. The Apex Committee was set up to provide a mechanism to implement NAP and review its progress.

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