ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that Pakistan’s security forces are undertaking strikes in FATA in ‘self-defense’, which is a right the government cannot take from the armed forces. He said no military action is in progress from the last September. He said the prime minister is in contact with the military leadership continuously but the decisions are made with consensus. He said no foreign agency is working in Islamabad. Nisar said he was hopeful that the dialogue process would come on the track again, adding that the government has adopted stance that the dialogues and terrorist incidents would not walk side by side.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad along with State Minister Mian Balighur Rehman and Maryam Orangzeb on Thursday Chaudhry Nisar said no military action is taken out in country after taking charge of government by PML-N. He said that the security agencies have been given the right of retaliation. He said whatever was happened in past 24 hours was in defence. He said those who are advising to carry out military operation why these people did not conducted military operation in their term. He said if any military operation is not going on then how could we announce ceasefire. He said the dialogue process was haled after terrorist incidents.
Chaudhry Nisar said all the people of 24 kachi abadis of Islamabad have been registered. He said the government knows each and every person living in Islamabad. He said no foreign agency is working in Islamabad.
He said that the decision of operation was made and speech of prime minister was ready but the peace has been given another chance. He said the refugees would be sent back to their camps.
He said if the bloodshed would stop then the dialogues would be held. He said that there is no sleeper cell in Islamabad, adding that Islamabad is safer now from past.
He said 26 sensitive agencies are working in country. He said 1500 cameras would be installed in Islamabad for the protection of Islamabad. He said many terrorists activities were foiled in Islamabad.
He said no one should have doubt about the capabilities of Pakistani security agencies. He said that the work is going on to stop human trafficking from Pakistan.
He said that the Iranian ambassador will meet him today (Friday), adding that the misunderstandings between Pakistan and Iran would be removed as Pakistan and Iran are enjoying friendly ties, adding that soon prime minister will also visit Iran too and will meet the Iranian president.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan disclosed that a decision was taken to launch full-scale military operation following terrorist attacks in Bannu and Karachi but it was not implemented just to give the peace another chance.
He said the dialogue process is currently on hold and the Government and the army leadership have taken a decision to act in self-defence if attacked by terrorists.
The Minister expressed the hope that the stalled dialogue process would be back on track finally but added that the Government is firm in its resolve that dialogue and terrorist attacks cannot go together.
The Minister said that threat perception in Islamabad and some other parts of the country has lowered during the last seven months due to measures taken by the Government.
He clarified media reports that appeared Thursday about security situation in the country in general and Islamabad in particular and said the presentation given to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior a day earlier was in overall context for the last several years.
The Minister said he can say with responsibility that Islamabad is safe and it is their effort to make the entire country secure. He pointed that a Rapid Response Force has been established in Islamabad which is equipped with Stenguns and all checking points of Islamabad are now working in a coordinated manner.
The Interior Minister said after clearance of the Court, Islamabad Safe City Project would be launched during the next few weeks. It envisages installation of fifteen hundred security cameras and central command system. He said it is their effort to include major arteries of Rawalpindi like Murree Road and The Mall into the new project.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said National Counter Terrorism Authority would soon be established after approval of the cabinet and the Rapid Response Force would be replicated in the provinces.
The Interior Minister said action against terrorists and criminals is continuing in Karachi, Balochistan, FATA and KPK. He said as per directions of the APC, the Prime Minister is making sincere efforts address the menace of terrorism through dialogue. He said for three months the dialogue process was carried forward in a discreet manner but a drone strike sabotaged the progress. Again the Prime Minister constituted a negotiating committee for dialogue with Taliban. The Minister said the conduct of the members of the Committee nominated by Taliban was positive and they sincerely believe to restore peace.
Ch. Nisar said the Committee is still there but there is suspension in the dialogue process because of latest provocative acts of terrorism by the other side. He said after Bannu and Karachi incidents, it was alsmost decided to launch an operation but then the Government decided to give the dialogue more chance. He said peace can only be restored through dialogue and not through war.
The Interior Minister said no one should doubt the capacity of our security forces to tackle the problem.
He clarified that there is no military action or military operation since September last year and therefore the demand for ceasefire on our part has no relevance. He however, pointed out that after consultations, it has been decided that the army and security forces are fully empowered to take action in self-defence without any hesitation. He regretted that while the government was pursuing the dialogue process sincerely, some particular groups were responding by carrying out attacks against Pakistan army, intelligence agencies, police and secuirty forces.
The Minister said a survey of Islamabad was conducted and as a result the Government has the necessary data about citizens and all those living in and around the city. He said eighty-four thousand people living in over twenty-four slum areas of the capital have been registered besides eighty-two thousand living in Bhara Kahu. He said in the second phase a strategy would be evolved to deal with inhabitants of the slum areas.
He said a few major terrorist netowrks were broken in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and he was confident that there were no major sleeper cells of terrorists were present in the twin cities.
To a question, the Interior Minister said London Police has sought legal assistance from Pakistan in Dr. Imran Farooq murder case and a response would be given after completion of codal and administrative formalities. He said every thing will be done in a transparent manner.
Replying to a question the Minister said Pakistan and Iran would be able to clear misunderstanding and resolve the issue of abducted Iranian border guards. He said he has received a message of Iranian Interior Minister and he would be meeting Iranian ambassador on Friday. He said the Prime Minister would also visit Iran soon.