ISLAMABAD: Six hundred and sixty-seven people have been killed and 1821 others injured in 157 terrorist attacks this year, which reflects the grim picture the country had to confront. This was stated by Brig. (Retd) Javed Iqbal Cheema, Interior Ministry spokesman at his weekly press briefing. He said the state security apparatus was not idle, although it prevented many possible attacks with timely detection and action.
Cheema said the enormity of the challenge posed by the planners and executors of suicide bombings was too complex and difficult to overcome completely and rapidly.The spokesman said the difficulties were compounded by a lack of understanding in the higher echelons of the judiciary that the law enforcement and security agencies needed a little more room and leeway to deal with the extraordinary situation. He said the measures taken by the country’s leadership last Saturday came after thorough deliberations. He said there was no other option but to act firmly to avert the mounting dangers to national security and integrity.
Javed Iqbal Cheema said the government is determined to contain and eliminate the menace of terrorism which is the desire of the entire nation. He said government is fully conscious to ensure the continuity of the political process so that smooth transition to fully democracy is satisfactorily achieved through fair, free and transparent general elections. He said enabling environment for this transition is indispensable and remains the focus of the government.
He said Interior Ministry has been taking all necessary measures in cooperation with the provincial governments to maintain law and order in the country. He said Police and paramilitary personnel have been tasked to help maintain law and order in the wake of the proclamation of emergency. He said clear instructions have also been issued to them to act with prudence, foresightedness and restraint.
The spokesman said yesterday at some places law enforcement personnel were compelled to take action as section 144 was enforced and it was defied as lawyers staged the rallies. He said unfortunately there were some clashes between police and lawyers in Lahore and Karachi during which a number of policemen and protestors were injured.
He hoped that political parties, lawyers and all other segments of society would extend their cooperation to defeat the nefarious designs of terrorists and extremists to create instability and derail the election process. He assured that all those held in preventive detention over the past few days due to potential threat to public peace and order will not be kept under restrictions a day longer than necessary.
To a question regarding situation in Swat and tribal areas, he said government is fully concentrating its attention to restore peace there. He said the people want to take action in these areas for the restoration of law and order situation. He said after the proclamation of emergency the situation will improve. To another question, the spokesman said that government believes freedom of press. He said code of conduct for Electronic and Print media would soon be issued with the consensus of their respective representatives.
Regarding Pak-UK Joint Working Group, he said the talks were postponed for some days due to the engagements of Pakistani officials. He said the new date will soon be fixed.-SANA