ANP rejects technical panel on security

ANP parliamentary leader in the provincial assembly Sardar Hussain Babak (M). — Photo courtesy Sardar Hussain Babak Facebook page

PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party on Thursday rejected the technical committee formed by the provincial government on security and demanded formation of a committee to probe the Dec 16 Army Public School Peshawar carnage to know its perpetrators before effectively cracking down them and other terrorists.

The technical committee, whose formation was approved of late, will act as a think tank to the government, assess current security situation, and prepare a strategy to build peace by countering terrorism and religious extremism.

ANP parliamentary leader in the provincial assembly Sardar Hussain Babak told reporters at Peshawar Press Club that the provincial government was not committed to countering terrorism otherwise it would have taken the problem seriously.

He said it was the duty of the provincial assembly’s speaker to call a session of the house over the brutal killing of 131 Army Public School students by the Taliban militants on Dec 16.

“The government should call the assembly session on its own instead of waiting for its requisitioning by the opposition parties,” he said.

Babak asked the government to effectively deal with the growing security problem and said the people wanted an early end to the bloodshed.

He said it was unfortunate that the government hadn’t taken serious steps to counter terrorism and therefore, 150 people, mostly schoolchildren, lost life in the Peshawar attack.

The ANP leader said his party had already cautioned that the military operations against militants would trigger a hostile response but the government didn’t heed it and resultantly, scores of lives were lost in the Taliban attack.

He said the government and all political parties were on the same page on counter-terrorism after the Peshawar carnage and that there was a need for effective crackdown on terrorism.

Babak said opponents had always criticised ANP for declaring the war against terrorism the country’s own but at last, they all had realised his party’s stand was right.

He said had his party’s stand against terrorism was accepted earlier, the massive loss of lives could have been prevented.

The ANP leader said he was hopeful that political parties would continue showing unity against terrorism to give the next generations a brighter and peaceful future.

He urged the government and all political parties to shun differences for peace and prosperity in the country.

“We have lost many lives in the ongoing war against terrorism, while terrorists haven’t even spared mosques, hujras, schools and public places,” he said.

Babak said targeting innocent schoolchildren was an inhumane act and strongly condemnable and the December 16 carnage was the darkest day in the country’s history.

He said ANP supported the government’s decision to form military courts to try suspected terrorists.

Babak, however, said his party was opposed to the policies of military dictator Ziaul Haq and would offer resistance if such policies were followed.

He also praised Pakistani and Afghan governments for showing commitment to jointly fight terrorism and said that would contribute to peace-building efforts in the region.

The ANP leader said a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan was in the best interest of Pakistan.

He also welcomed the easing of tensions between PTI and PML-N and said it would prove good for the country and democracy.

Later, Arbab Bakhtiar Ahmad, Arbab Mohammad Saddiq, Arbab Shah Fahad, Arbab Roohullah, Arbab Khushal Khan, Sher Rehman, Noushad, Mashoorur Rehman of ANP-Wali, Arbab Ishtiaq, Alamzeb and Arbab Abu Bakar of JUI, and activists of some other political parties announced the joining of ANP.

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