November 14, 2023
ISLAMABAD – PML-N leader and Leader of the House in the Senate Ishaq Dar on Monday demanded the caretaker government provide a “clear-cut programme” to tackle the spike in terrorism in the country.
Pakistan has witnessed an uptick in terror activities in recent months, especially in KP and Balochistan, after the banned militant Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ended its ceasefire with the government last year.
Earlier this month, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq pinned the recent surge in terrorist attacks on the Taliban government in Afghanistan. He said there was a 60 per cent increase in terrorism and a 500 per cent spike in suicide bombings since the Afghan Taliban came to power in August 2021.
The government has also decided to deport all illegal immigrants in the country, a process which is currently under way. The government has insisted that the deportation drive is not aimed at any particular ethnicity.
Last week, Dar had blamed an understanding reached with Kabul in 2018 and the subsequent release of hardcore TTP militants for a surge in acts of terrorism in the country.
In today’s Senate session, Dar said: “I will very humbly request the relevant individuals, the interior minister and the government to kindly formulate and present a clear-cut programme [on tackling the recent terrorism spike] in this House.
“Give the facts and figures of the past 15 or 20 years so we know […] let everybody know in this House what was the [situation] in 2010 or 2008, when it peaked, when it declined and why this spike occurred again,” the PML-N leader said.
He said the reasons behind the increase in terrorism should be analysed so that the mistakes which had led to the current situation could be identified.
“We will need to adopt a clear-cut roadmap and I think the arrival of a regular government cannot be awaited. Three months is a long time and how many more [terrorism] incidents will take place?” he asked.
Dar urged government officials to spend “day and night” on the matter, adding that they should conduct an in-camera session to brief members on the history of terrorism in the country.
The senator said he endorsed viewpoints from both sides of the benches on the issue and said it should be addressed effectively through collective efforts.
“God willing, we will be successful. We have achieved this success before. It is our fault that we again invited [terrorism], engaged their people and released their hardened criminals.”
Insisting that he did not want to do politics on the matter, Dar — without taking any names — lambasted the previous policy of attempted rapprochement with the TTP and pursuing relations with the Afghan Taliban.
“Despite all the [success] we achieved … we should admit to our mistakes. Who told you to go to Kabul and engage the Taliban government after it came to power? Why? Who told you to release hardened criminals who were imprisoned in Pakistan’s jails and had conducted dozens of terrorist incidents?
“Will the nation ask those people? We cannot bear these cycles. The impact of all of this is on the common man who pays the price. We use tax money, take some good measures and then take a 180-degree U-turn,” the senator said.
Dar claimed no political party was taken aboard in the above process.
“Should one man or two to four people have the permission to play such depraved games with the nation’s fate? If there was a mistake then at least ask for forgiveness from the nation that you did wrong and that you should not have done photo sessions in Kabul and shown the world that you are negotiating with the Taliban.”
He reiterated that without taking Parliament or the nation into confidence, “a few hundred hardened criminals and terrorists were released.”
Dar said the central characters involved in the above events should be questioned or made to apologise on national TV for their alleged culpability in the above events and the spike in militancy.