ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday said threat perception in the country had lowered and facts and figures depicted that law and order had improved, which was evident from situation in Karachi and Quetta.
Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, he said the threat perception had been existing for years, although prominent terrorist groups had no existence in Islamabad.
The minister was accompanied by State Minister for Interior Balighur Rehman.
To a question about peace talks, Chaudhry Nisar said, “I still think that there are clear indications that the dialogue process will be on track again. I am very hopeful.”
He said the peace committee formed by the government still existed but the talks process had halted.
The Minister said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after consultations with the committee and military leadership had decided that dialogue process could not continue in the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks.
Chaudhry Nisar said the prime minister in his last address had made it clear that terrorism, violence and dialogue process could not be continued at the same time and the government committee had also set the same condition for talks.
In the present situation, if talks continued it would be great injustice with the innocent civilians and security personnel killed in terrorist acts.
The interior minister said security forces would not hesitate to take action in self-defence, if they came under attack.
“We cannot take away the right of self-defence from our security forces,” he added.
He said since last September, there had been no military operation, so what kind of ceasefire the other side wanted.
He appreciated positive role of negotiators nominated by Taliban, adding its members had a deep desire for peace.
He said it was regretful that despite sincerity and open heartedness of the government committee, terrorist attacks continued.
He said dialogue was the only way to achieve peace and those who were talking about military operation did not undertake it when they were in power.
He said after coming into government, the prime minister started efforts for evolving national consensus for achieving peace and an All Parties Conference was held in September.
Then the dialogue process was started, but it was sabotaged with a drone attack, he said adding he raised the issue of drone attacks with the US officials.
Meanwhile, the government continued to make contacts with the other side and later Pakistan Tehrik-i-Taliban agreed for talks, he mentioned.
The minister said due to government’s steps coordination had improved among intelligence agencies.
Thousands of terrorists, target killers and criminals were arrested in Karachi due to proactive and focused efforts of intelligence agencies.
The minister said that a Joint Intelligence Directorate will be set up to coordinate the work of 26 intelligence agencies working in the country.
A rapid response force at the federal level would be replicated in the provinces, he said adding a helicopter unit would be on call in case of any incident in the provinces and National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) would be made vibrant.
He said the Internal Security Policy was ready and would be before the cabinet in its next meeting for approval.
More modern weapons from China had arrived to equip the security forces, while in the coming months 50 bomb disposal vehicles, eight of which equipped with robots, would be handed over to the police.
He assured that Islamabad was now a safe city and in the last few months, only a couple of incidents had occurred and the law enforcement agencies busted two major terrorist networks.
A major drive of registration of citizens living in Islamabad was carried out and now the Interior Ministry exactly knew every person living in the capital, the Minister said adding about 80,000 people were registered in 24 slum areas of Islamabad.
Those Afghans who were living illegally in the capital would be sent back to the refugee camps.
The minister said the British Government had sought legal assistance from the government in the Imran Farooq murder case and after taking legal advice, any step would be taken on the issue.