Islamabad: As Pakistan reels from multiple incidents of terrorism, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has reaffirmed his vow to eradicate the menace amid criticism from ousted premier Imran Khan on the government's "failure" to curb militancy during its eight-month stint.
Addressing a gathering in the Dera Ismail Khan district of the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on Monday, Sharif said that the menace of terrorism was on the rise and the state would crush it very soon, the Dawn newspaper quoted him as saying.
He said that with the help of provincial governments and security forces, the government would eliminate terrorism in all its forms.
Sharif said that a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) would be summoned in a few days to take stock of the security situation.
Commenting on the attack on a security compound claimed by the outlawed Pakistani Taliban (TTP) terror group in the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Bannu district last week, Sharif said it was heart-breaking and added that the law enforcement agencies conducted a successful operation, killing all terrorists who had taken over the compound.
Meanwhile, former prime minister Khan, who wants snap polls in the country at all costs and is likely to dissolve Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies, lambasted the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government for its “failure” to rein in terrorism after coming to power in April this year.
During a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf meeting at his residence in Lahore, Khan, the chairman of the party, claimed that his government had “controlled terrorism and was proudly leading the country towards making it one of the world’s top tourism destinations”.
He expressed his concern over the situation at the Pakistan-Afghan border as well. He claimed there was a 52 per cent increase in terror incidents since April and chided the government for the resurgence of terrorism.
“At least 52 per cent increase has been recorded in terrorism cases across the country that claimed some 270 precious lives and left over 550 people injured,” the former premier said.
Separately, PTI party leader Fawad Chaudhry told reporters that terrorism was returning to Pakistan.
He said that during its tenure, the PTI government was proudly projecting Pakistan as the world’s top tourist destination, and now the nation was being pushed into the “fire of terrorism, and the embassies were issuing advisories to their employees to avoid five-star hotels” in Islamabad.
The United States embassy on Sunday warned about a possible terror threat against American citizens at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad and prohibited American staff from visiting the five-star facility. The Saudi Arabian embassy in Islamabad also issued a security advisory on Monday, instructing its citizens in Pakistan to restrict their movement.